Wisbey advises students, stay curious, watch for God
Oct. 1, 2010
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) With cheers, prayers and words of welcome from its leaders, La Sierra University kicked off the new school year Sept. 30 during its annual convocation.
Students and staff, with faculty arrayed in academic regalia, filled the La Sierra University Church to capacity. La Sierra University Provost Stevel Pawluk elicited cheers from the audience when he welcomed the students and announced La Sierra’s largest freshman class since the university’s inception.
“In all cases it will be an important year,” Pawluk said. “One that will require your attention and persistence. One which will offer all sorts of blessings and adventures if you have the curiosity to seek them and the courage to embrace them.”
During convocation, La Sierra University President Randal Wisbey delivered a poignant address titled “In Praise of Curiosity.” It focused on the importance of maintaining a “holy curiosity,” Wisbey said, citing famed physicist Albert Einstein, a curiosity that leads to God’s guidance.
“‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing,’” Wisbey continued, quoting Einstein. “College is the most intentional time in one’s life for the holy curiosity that Einstein encourages to be developed and celebrated,” he said.
“As children, we spent our early lives asking questions. It is how we learned. It still is. Here at La Sierra University we believe questions are as important as answers,” Wisbey continued. He recounted the story of Moses and the curiosity that drew Moses to the burning bush where he heard God’s voice and received God’s commands. “The Bible is full of stories of curious people very much like each of us – men and women who have questions, fears, hopes and joys. In these stories we find a picture of God who is always looking for ways to capture our attention, encouraging us to think, to look more deeply, to reconsider.”
“In Scripture, most of God’s intensely profound and history-changing encounters come during the common experiences of life. …Students, Moses’ experience reminds us that we must never lose a holy curiosity. There will be times when we see the unusual in the midst of the mundane – and when this happens, we should not continue business as usual,” he said.
“There will be times when our curiosity requires us to look twice, to look more deeply, to reconsider. May we never forget that God presents himself in different ways to different people. If you are not curious, if you are not paying attention, you may miss the way God wishes to present himself to you. …like Moses, we must never stop paying attention lest we miss the moment that God is attempting to communicate with us,” Wisbey said.