Final ‘Lunch and Learn’ shows what really matters
Story and photos by Mark Heller
GCU News Bureau
If only it was as easy as “following” someone on Facebook or Twitter.
Real relationships are much more challenging to maintain, but the ones worth having sometimes require pain, sacrifice and much more.
Three Grand Canyon University faculty members spoke Friday inside a crowded Howerton Hall auditorium about their background and evolving relationship with Jesus but also the importance of teaching and sharing real-world dynamics with their students. They said life’s hardships help maintain our pivotal connection with the Lord.
Friday’s “Following Jesus” topic and an exploration of Luke 9:25 was the final discussion of the 2016-17 Integration of Faith, Learning and Work “Lunch and Learn” series for faculty, titled “Things That Really Matter.”
Colangelo College of Business instructor Ken Hein spoke of the juxtaposition between Jesus’ “follow me” messages (both in Luke and beyond) and his own military experiences during the Vietnam War, where “your job is to be out in front.”
Hein admitted a “cost” he wasn’t interested in incurring earlier in life that led to a lost relationship with Jesus. But he rediscovered himself and rekindled that relationship 30 years ago this Memorial Day when he turned to sobriety at age 40.
“It takes courage to stand up and sacrifice what might be everything in order to have a permanent relationship with our Savior,” he said.
With backgrounds in anatomy, biology and medicine, Dr. Cynthia Foote and Dr. Ryan Melillo from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology both used medical and research malpractices as analogies to the difficulty and pressures of prioritizing what’s important.
It is, however, important to periodically question and challenge yourself, and that requires “persistent effort,” said Foote, who also noted that asking “why” is as important to our own peace of mind as it is in the scientific communities.
Melillo cited Colossians 3:23 along with recent medical malpractice cases in the news to reinforce the struggle between human nature (money, fame, praise, pride, etc.) and serving Jesus.
These struggles are not often obvious, black-and-white choices. But, similar to life, hardships occur regularly and are supposed to be challenging.
“Do you have the ability to stand up and not do these things in the face of being a provider for yourself or your family and their needs?” he said.
Dr. Jason Hiles, dean of the College of Theology, wrapped up the discussion — and this year’s speaker series — through Chapter 9 of Luke and three things required to maintain faithfulness and virtue in Jesus’ eyes:
- Remove ourselves from the center.
- Take up a cross and sacrifice.
- Obey what Jesus taught and emulate His lifestyle.
“We have to get this right, and humanly speaking it’s not always possible,” Hiles said. “It’s up to God.”
Contact Mark Heller at (602) 639-7516 or firstname.lastname@example.org