Monday, October 4, 2010

Live a Reflective Life—Oxford Analytica

President Carlberg, fresh from recent travels to Oxford and Washington, D.C., spoke in chapel Wednesday. As he took the stage, he spoke freely . . . “not as your president,” he said, "but as a grandfather.” After reading from Romans 12, Carlberg encouraged the student body to live an ordinary, walking-around life in a reflective spirit. He discussed research from Gordon alum Christian Smith, one of the country’s most influential scholars on the emerging adult subculture, and spoke about the importance of finding shalom (wholeness and flourishing) in their lives. Carlberg also shared advice and talked about the importance of writing down goals and embracing the big world. Recently back from Oxford Analytica, the only college president in attendance, he shared his experience listening to Oxford dons share issues of global importance with leading influencers in a variety of economic and government sectors. Sitting in the great hall of Christ Church in Oxford, he discussed issues in health care, capitalism, the balance of power in the world, and how under-30s will shape the world.

As Greg Carmer, dean of the chapel, mentioned in his introduction that morning, “Often the things we enjoy most in life are the fruit of someone else’s work. Those who lay the path go before us . . . often dedicating their lives to those they have yet to even meet.” As President Carlberg shared stories of his travels, it was clear that even in this year of transition he is still paving the way.

“As I sat there listening to the Oxford dons, I couldn’t help think of Gordon College and our students,” said Carlberg. “How can I take this experience back to campus? How can I get students on our campus to think this big?” Carlberg, encouraging the value of studying abroad, shared the importance of being comfortable with people from different cultures, different values, and faith. “These experiences will help you study, teach you to ask questions and be an example of what Christians should be in this world.”

As his time on the platform came to a close, he shared one last story. The previous day he had attended the largest ear nose and throat medical conference in the world in Boston at the invitation of a Gordon alum, Don Gonzales. Dr. Gonzales, specializing in nose surgery, invited President Carlberg to see the fruit Gordon’s foundation provided in his work today. As he performed surgeries in the intricate passages of the nose, Dr. Gonzales developed ideas for the improvement of surgical tools. Through his work, his inventions are impacting thousands of patients daily. His thoughts on Gordon: “It's where it all began for me,” Gonzales shared. “My professors taught me how to think creatively. They taught me the importance of solving problems. It all started in Gordon’s labs.”

To listen to President Carlberg’s chapel address, click here.

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