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MIT Professor Took a Chance on God

MIT professor Rosalind Picard shares how she met the Author of all knowledge:

As early as grade school, when I was a straight-A student, I identified with being smart. And I believed smart people didn’t need religion. As a result, I declared myself an atheist and dismissed people who believed in God as uneducated.

In high school, I babysat to earn money. One of my favorite families was a young couple; both the husband (a doctor) and the wife were really sharp. One night, after paying me, they invited me to church. I was stunned—people this smart actually went to church? When Sunday morning came around, I told them I had a stomachache.

Eventually, the couple tried a different tack. They said, “Going to church is not what matters most. What matters is what you believe. Have you read the Bible?” The doctor suggested starting with Proverbs. To my surprise, Proverbs was full of wisdom. I had to pause while reading and think. I then read through the entire Bible. I felt this strange sense of being spoken to. I began wondering whether there really might be a God.

During my freshman year in college, I reconnected with a friend who was a straight-A student and a star on both the basketball court and football field. I had never known anyone so smart and athletic. He then he invited me to his church.

One Sunday, the pastor got my attention when he asked, “Who is Lord of your life?” I was intrigued: I was the captain of my ship, but was it possible that God would actually be willing to lead me? In the spirit of Pascal’s wager, I decided to run an experiment, believing I had much to gain but very little to lose.

After praying, “Jesus Christ, I ask you to be Lord of my life,” my world changed dramatically. It was as if a flat, black-and-white existence suddenly turned full-color and three-dimensional. I felt joy and freedom—but also a heightened sense of responsibility and challenge.

Today, I am a professor at the top university (MIT) in my field. I work closely with people whose lives are filled with medical struggles, people whose children are not healthy. I do not have adequate answers to explain all their suffering. But I know there is a God of unfathomable greatness and love who freely enters into relationship with all who confess their sins and call upon his name.

I once thought I was too smart to believe in God. Now I know I was an arrogant fool who snubbed the greatest Mind in the cosmos—the Author of all science, mathematics, art, and everything else there is to know. Today I walk humbly, having received the most undeserved grace.

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