From the Executive Director

The other day a colleague at George Fox sent me a link for an online interview with Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff. It is a sobering perspective on current economic realities. As we are all aware, the world’s economic picture has changed significantly in the past year and a half, with the United States in the center of the collapse. According to Rogoff, big changes are on their way! In the interview he predicts a painful four-year journey for Americans as we strive to recover our financial fitness. His predictions include an increase in unemployment and inflation that will necessitate that most of us simplify our lives.

This is where we drop to our knees and ask God to show up. And of course, he already has. He has "shown up" for all eternity and isn’t about to change that about his character. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; his love and care for us are infinite. So, how do we look at what is happening in our world through the right lens?

I’ve been reflecting on the fact that during difficult times, God works in amazing ways to grow his kingdom. When the temporal things we put our trust in begin to crumble, the eternal and hopeful message that true life is found in Jesus Christ can be heard more clearly. As a Christ follower, I have experienced this many times. When the things that provide me with earthly security begin to fall away, it is easier to keep the main thing the main thing. One of the most exciting things to watch happen are the opportunities that spring up from difficult times — evidence that God is faithful to grow his kingdom and bless his people even in the worst of circumstances.

I bring this up to you because this is where the rubber meets the road for our college students. They are preparing to enter a world where the rules as we know them will be changing. With their cultural perspective (which is different from ours), the integration of their intellect with their faith (less compartmentalized than our generation), and their belief that they can change the world, I believe God has prepared this generation for a season of new opportunities that you and I cannot even imagine. I believe today’s students will be able to adapt to a challenging time in our nation’s history, and come through to the other side richer for the experience.

In writing this article I wondered at the wisdom of highlighting the sobering economic forecast to George Fox parents. I do not intend to be a harbinger of doom and gloom. Rather, I hope to convey two things: 1) even if Rogoff’s predictions play out, our students will find opportunities to change the world in positive ways, and 2) the blessing and protection of the Lord will always be available despite earthly circumstances. We will also experience joy if we make room in our hearts to keep the main thing the main thing.

Sheri Philips
Executive Director of University Relations