As many African-Americans I grew up in a household where belief in God was commonplace. However, I tended to see God as only my judge who would measure my good deeds against the bad deeds at the end of my life. As such I was on my own to live as good of a life as possible.
When I was a sophomore in college I decided to go for a 4.0 in my studies. To do so I isolated myself from other people. This made me miserable.
It also forced me to rethink my ideas about God. I realized that He offered me strength that I did not have on my own. I had a choice of living my life for myself and according to my own wisdom and desires, or to live my life for God. That semester I decided to live my life for God.
There was no thunder or earth shattering event that occurred when I made that decision. But I did feel a peace that had escaped me. I did not have to strive to find my own meaning anymore. The God of the universe would be with me to guide me.
In time God has revealed part of my calling (I do not think I will know my entire calling until the day I die). He has provided me with certain talents and a heart to bring people together. Thus I have used my academic training and Christian discipleship to become a reconciliator between the different racial groups in our country.
It is at times frustrating but it is also fulfilling as I am doing what I am made to do. I believe that we can never find what we are made to do until we turn to our loving Father.
Lately God has moved me away from dealing with issues of racial alienation and to use the skills he has given me to explore new research areas. I will always have a heart to engage in racial reconciliation as I believe that bring people together is part of the Christian mission. But I am excited about this new research area and see how God has used my previous experiences to prepare me for this new path.