More than a scientist . . .

It’s not enough to be a scientist. Nor is it enough to be an educator, or a cashier, or delivery driver, or a restaurant cook, or a supreme court judge.

“Then what is enough, and enough for what?” Well, that’s a good question! “Enough to be a something in God’s eyes.”

Every occupation has a primary role. If one’s a baker, he or she bakes. I am a research scientist, and I conduct scientific research. But if we just “do our jobs” and nothing more, well we know where that leads.

Have you ever gone to see a doctor, and felt like he didn’t care much about you as a human being? Maybe he wasn’t interested in hearing your long detailed description of what you thought was going on with your own body (what do you know? you’re just the patient), no eye contact, no smile, and no touch even. Maybe he has all kinds of degrees hanging on his wall, including one from Harvard Medical School, but it’s true, what Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Most of us are not Vulcan; we’re emotional human beings.

So, is a scientist curious just because he or she can’t help it, or is the need to discover driven by a longing to bring healing and relief to suffering individuals? If I’m totally honest, many times it’s the former. I’m just curious and need to know. Sure, if some discovery could translate to helping millions of people, that would be great, but it’s not always what motivates me. The “helping others part” can sometimes be just an afterthought. And it shouldn’t be that way.

Paul, a follower of Jesus Christ, wrote to other followers:

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

Holy Bible, I Corinthians 13:2

I can almost say, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can know exactly which experiments will work and reveal all of cancer’s inner workings, and if I can cure every kind of cancer with one drug but have not love, I am nothing.” Wow. Yes, love has to come first, and then what we do can be done with the right attitude and for the right reason.

So no, it’s not enough for me to be a scientist. I need to love others first as God loves us, and then, I believe what I do as a scientist will mean something much more, not just to me but to God and others.

We can all be more, than the labels given to us by society and the job description of our occupation. We can all be motivated by God’s love in everything we do.

Photo credit (Jim Carey): tulatalks.com

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