The Questions We Seek and the Answers That Choose Us
Before I accepted the call to ministry, my adult life had largely been spent devoted to psychology. Not the touchy-feely kind, but the research kind. I’ve trained a rat to press a button to receive food, I’ve learned how certain medications change the way neurotransmitters act in the human brain, and I’ve learned—and forgotten—reams of information about running statistical analyses (like two-factor t tests and ANOVAs) by hand. But my biggest contribution to science is that I spent a few years working in a lab that studied the effects of certain medications on human behavior. The lab’s goal was to find a medicine that could be used to treat the abuse of specific recreational drugs.
When I was a kid, I never really had an answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I assumed a role that would fit me was out there somewhere, and I further assumed that, as a child, I had not found it yet. I didn’t know much about what scientists did all day, but I knew they wore white coats and goggles, and that they worked in labs, and I thought all of that was very cool! What I did know for sure was that I wanted to gain a better understanding about why people act the way(s) we do. Why do some people always seem aggressive? Why are some so competitive? How can some maintain hope and a positive outlook no matter what life throws at them? These were the questions that kept me up at night when I was in kindergarten—and beyond.
You’re probably already thinking that both psychology and religion are ways to find answers to these questions. I think you’re right! It’s likely no coincidence that these are the two fields I have given my life to, given the questions that have preoccupied me for so long.
Do you have questions that have driven you your whole life? I would love to hear about them!
Do you think professions choose people, or people choose professions?
Why do you think people act the way(s) we do?
Assistant Minister for Children & Youth Faith Formation – firstname.lastname@example.org