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Thomas Delivers Inspirational Convocation Address Aug. 25

August 25, 2021

OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas inspired students, faculty, administration and staff during OBU’s annual Convocation chapel service Wednesday, Aug. 25. The event was held in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.

Thomas challenged students to consider the question ‘How then shall we live?’

“If we answer the question well,” Thomas said, “I believe we must take seriously three interrelated components; namely self, world and time. Only then will we be able to fulfill properly the educational mission of our university.”

Thomas then addressed the concept of self, detailing the factors which drive change and positive growth over time.

“We are the same person five years from now, except for three basic things: the books we read, the people we meet, and the places we go.”

He then elaborated on these three key drivers of change in our lives.

“Students, at OBU, you will read widely and deeply. Challenged to do so with books with which you agree and, frankly, disagree. And that’s okay because we’re looking for an education with Christ at the center rather than some form of indoctrination. So, I want to challenge you today, read and don’t be afraid of it.”

“At OBU you will meet many and new different kinds of folk,” he continued. “That’s healthy as God has made the world diverse, interesting. People have different backgrounds, families, places of birth, interests. So, get to know one another, meet new people, introduce yourself.”

“At OBU you’ll have the opportunity to go to places new and exciting. I dare you to go on a Global Outreach trip and see what happens to your life. Now is your opportunity at OBU for you to see the world that our God has created; for you to see both the blessedness and the brokenness that comprise our shared, lived reality.”

Thomas challenged students’ views of the world around them and encouraged them to seek out ideas that will shift their perspective and enrich their understanding.

“The world in which we live is prior to your existence, and it will exist after your existence. You might have heard it said, ‘it’s your world.’ No, it’s the world and we’re just living in it. The truth of the created order speaks to objective truth, a reality that exists independently of human agents. It’s God’s world. He is the creator.”

Thomas concluded with a call for students to become awakened to the world around them.

“Self, world and time are possible because there is a God who has made all, who has given the world shape, who has made you. In God’s good pleasure, in the fullness of time, He has given Christ the son. Become awakened to Christ, become awakened to our world, become awakened to your agency, become awakened to our time.”