God & Your Vision

I often find myself wanting to pursue a certain goal or set a certain habit for myself. There are many things which I am drawn to and passionate about pursuing. For me, this extends from lofty world-changing goals to simple minutia of daily life. One of my goals for this year is to create and showcase a series of scientific artworks, another is to work out for fifteen minutes every day. Some of my loftier goals are to see the Black graduate student community at MIT become a vibrant, active, and supportive space that has a sustained and measurable impact on the policies and culture of our campus; and to develop a new programming language which provides a semantic framework for analyzing and developing theories about the functional and physical structure of the brain. … Don’t worry, I’m not sure what that last one actually means either.

As much as I can go on about my goals and dreams, I’m confident you can—and likely have—shared about your dreams and goals in the same way. There are commitments you want to stick to, challenges you want to conquer, systems you want to see disrupted, and people you want to reach. With those things in mind, I want to challenge you in two ways. One, do you know how to chart and navigate the path from where you are now to where you want to be? Two, are you confident that those things you have set out to do are at the limit of what you can attain?

Since childhood, it has been my goal to become a scientist. I pursued this goal by learning as much as I could in as many ways as I could. I went to university with the intention of making this dream a reality; I was confident that it was the place that I needed to be. However, despite being in what I thought were perfect conditions to become who I wanted to become, things didn’t work out how I wanted. I ended up in a very dark place and lost hope of those things I wanted to accomplish and, ultimately, I walked away. Literally. Late one night during my junior year I walked west from my dorm down Forsyth Blvd.; wearing nothing but pajamas, I was prepared to completely detach myself from everything and everyone I knew. Despite my belief that school was exactly where I needed to be, God spoke to me in that moment and said “You don’t have to stay at school.” God would have it that I step away from school to be equipped for a greater purpose.

Over the nine months that I spent at home away from school, I learned and grew more than any year I was in college. It was during that time I took on my faith in God as a personal belief and was surrounded by mentors who helped me to grow spiritually. After a past of rarely communicating well in relationships, I experienced, for the first time a romantic relationship that had honest and consistent communication. I took the step of seeing a mental health counselor every week. I gained research experience, completing a project in poly(amino-acid) chemistry at a local laboratory. I found a greater appreciation for all my parents had taught me and been for me. I gained more than 100 hours of experience tutoring and teaching math and science to other students. God would have it that my goal of becoming a scientist by going to university be expanded and upturned: away from school I was not only prepared for science, but I was also given the spiritual and relational foundations to be able to empower and uplift others in many ways.

So back to my original questions:

One, do you know how to navigate the path from where you are now to where you want to be? And two, are you confident that those things you have set out to do are at the limit of what you can attain?

Consider that your creator, God, would have it that you accomplish much more than you can ever imagine in ways that you could have never thought to pursue. With that in mind, I encourage you to take five minutes today to pray that God’s plan, and not your own, would be the driving force in every area of your life.