As we start the academic year, Bob encourages us from his experience as campus minister and ESN Director. Stay tuned for our weekly readings for individuals and groups, and some upcoming announcements for events in person and online. Image: Ohio State University.
Scholarship is framed around what we do not know, the research questions we pursue in our work, or even the more down to earth questions of how we will complete all this work in our waking hours. Sometimes the unknown has to do with our own futures—questions that are scarier in many cases.
Perhaps a good place for scholar Christians to begin the year is reflecting upon what we do know connected with our faith. I might sum it up like this: God has created, loved, called, gifted, and destined us.
- Created: How will I offer my created self, my body head to toe as a living sacrifice in the routines of my days and weeks?
- Loved: How will I respond to the love of God in Christ in deepening that relationship through personal and corporate times of enjoying, and listening to, and communing with God?
- Called: What opportunity in my work do I have to care for God’s world, and in my sphere of relationships to represent Christ?
- Gifted: What do I enjoy doing and do well, and how might that be employed to advance God’s aims, God’s rule in the world?
- Destined: How might I live as a person of hope and purpose in light of the truth that I will be raised and reign with Christ?
These five words work as a plot summary for the grand story in which we live. They situate our story within the great story of God. I easily forget the story and get caught up in other stories. Let me invite you as you begin your year to reflect on these five words, these five plot points of the great story. Might you set aside some time as part of your sabbath (you do take sabbaths, I hope) to reflect how God is inviting you further on in his story this year?
Yours on the scholarly journey,
Bob Trube, ESN Director
Bob Trube is Associate Director of Faculty Ministry and Director of the Emerging Scholars Network. He blogs on books regularly at bobonbooks.com. He resides in Columbus, Ohio, with Marilyn and enjoys reading, gardening, choral singing, and plein air painting.