Hey Everyone, meet Eric. He is an extraordinary young man. He’s full of wisdom, energy, silliness, and love. To have a conversation with Eric is to be heard. If you ever get the chance to say hello make sure you do! We enjoy him every time he visits. We sat down with him and asked a few questions.

Sum yourself up in two sentences

I have been loved by God. Now I seek to respond to His love and to know it more fully.

If you could identify with one fictional character who would it be and why?

Tigger from Winnie the Pooh because he’s bouncy and fun. I’m constantly distracted and my attention is pulled in all different places. I like to think and speak erratically. I like to have fun too. I would say more seriously that I identify with Efim from a short story called “Two Old Men” by Leo Tolstoy. Efim goes on a journey with a friend and his friend doesn’t complete the journey because he ends up stopping along the way to help people. Efim doesn’t stop to help anyone so he completely the journey. When he gets to the destination he sees his friend there, at this big church, close to the very center where Efim cannot reach because of the crowd. In the end it expresses to us that Efim’s friend had more deeply achieved the purpose of the journey and so is closer to the center. He loved people along the way not simply soldiered on during the pilgrimage. I identify with Efim because sometimes I try too easily to achieve the goal and fail to notice the other various opportunities along the way.

What is one word you would use to describe yourself? Why?

Envisioned. I’m often not that organized. It’s often not that clear to me what I should be doing or how best to do it, but I do have a strong vision for the type of person I want to be and for what I think matters. Though I might flounder with filling the vision, I do have a clear and high intent for the vision and what it means to live a good life.

Who or what inspires you?

I really like simple beauty and I am very compelled by the different ways that people can respond to beauty. I think that the most beautiful thing in all of existence is the concept of together or togetherness. Doing things together, sharing things together, but above all else, just being together. Sometimes to accomplish a goal or possible to do nothing in particular other than to just be together. That’s one of the reasons I love Jesus. What drives the gospel and what drives Jesus to be what He is, is that He is togetherness in the trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is also why He gave Himself up for us and rose from the dead, was to be together with us. I love to put that concept and that lifestyle into action in my daily life in as many means as I can. It’s beautiful.

What was one of your most defining moments in life?

Being asked to do this interview. It was when I realized I had arrived.

If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

Part of me wants to say Josh Garrels because I would love to be an awesome musician.

What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?

I want to live a life of significance and I know that the only enduring significance is the glory of God through Jesus Christ. My fight for belonging with Him and my fight to help others realize their belonging in Him and have faith in him. I want to be together, really together – meaningfully, deeply, openly together with others with Christ. I do full time college ministry, so I want to help people who at this major juncture in life. I want to help them make decisions that help set them on a path of eternal significance. That’s what motivates my life. [UCO is the college ministry with which Eric works.]

What is your favorite thing about Roots?

Seeing people when I know when I come in, both behind the counter and the other customers.