Tom Gilson

Transitions, Travel, and Being Human

I've been traveling seventeen days in the last four weeks, on four separate trips. Today I'm in Tampa being hosted by Tom Woodward and the C.S Lewis Society, whom I've been helping with strategic change planning. It has been a delightful time here, and I'll be sharing more about CSLS someday.

Here's the crazymaker, though. Right in the middle of those four weeks my wife and I left the staff of Cru, after thirty-four years of service there. Days later I was in West Virginia getting a “brain dump” of information for my new position as National Field Director with Ratio Christi.

I noticed I was going into a slump in my writing. Regular readers here may have noticed it, too. It wasn't just because of hours away from home. I didn't really understand it until a couple evenings ago, at home in Ohio, when my wife and I sat down and talked through our feelings about our career transition.

We had taken time for some special memory-laden events with our two at-home adult children. We had treated each other to a special dinner out on the official day of our transition. But there was a lot more to work through.

We have some great memories of service with Campus Crusade (the “Cru” name is still hard for us to get used to; we're old-timers after all). We had some disappointments and disillusionments, too, some of which were recent and fresh on our minds. Still I thank God for the opportunity to serve so long with some of the greatest people in the world, making more difference for God's glory than anyone else I know.

My new position at Ratio Christi is daunting: supervising more than 100 campus ministries, which entails setting up a leadership structure to make that possible.For now I'm mostly concentrating on learning the necessary communication and administrative systems, and developing funds for our work there. That's when I'm not out at another meeting, of course.

In its own way I can see Ratio Christi's impact for good rivaling Cru's over the next decade or so, at least on U.S. college campuses. Ratio Christ won't be as big, and it won't try to do what Cru, Intervarsity, Chi Alpha, Navs, or any other student ministry is doing. Instead we'll concentrate on helping them, and other students besides, with the specific work of explaining and teaching reasons for confidence in the faith. It is a huge need on college campuses these days.

I'm hoping that when I get home from this trip today, with no more travel away from family planned for a long time, I'll be able to settle in again to more writing. My head is already clearer after that time of talking with my wife.

This remains a human activity. I share this partly as a reminder of that basic truth. The comment discussions are between humans, real people with other real things going on in their lives. It's hard to bring our whole humanity to a blog discussion, but we dare not forget we're all folks here.

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1 thought on “Transitions, Travel, and Being Human

  1. In working with college students (in several ways through Cru) and in writing a book for college students along the same lines as Ratio Christi’s goals, I want to thank-you for your desire to help students understand why God and his solution of Jesus truly is the best way in every way. From one part of the Body to another, carry on!

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