Dr. Guillen told how he went from being a 7-year-old Mexican kid in East LA who had a dream of being a scientist to a professor at Harvard and the go-to scientist for four shows on ABC, including Good Morning America and 20/20, but now he is really stepping beyond his dream into his destiny. Part of that destiny is sharing the Gospel with a scientific slant on the campuses of major universities. He rattled off a list of big schools including Arizona State. Michigan State is coming up next week.
He encouraged us to dream big, but not put blinders on. Otherwise, you may miss your destiny. When ABC asked him to come on full-time, he seriously hesitated because his dream was to be a scientist, and teaching at Harvard really gave that identity to him. Now he sees that as a pivotal turning point in shifting from dream to destiny.
He sees God's hand in how things have unfolded for him, and he told about how he originally was picked up by ABC, a story he also tells in his online article "Dreams vs. Destiny: Why the Two Can Be as Different as Night and Day":
On the car trip from Ithaca to Cambridge, I stopped off at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. to attend a panel discussion on George Orwell’s novel “1984.” It was moderated by Fred Graham, then the legal correspondent for CBS News.Click here for the rest of the story, and more on the difference between dreams and destiny.
At the gala reception afterward, I noticed Graham standing alone with his female companion. For no particular reason except that he was famous, I walked up and introduced myself to him.
Upon learning that I was a scientist, Graham said something like, “Maybe you can settle a disagreement I’m having with my producer here.”
“Sure,” I said, “what’s the problem?”
“You know that giant pendulum out in the rotunda?”
“Yeah, it’s called a Foucault pendulum.”
“Right, that’s it. My producer says that once you get it going, you can leave it alone and it’ll never stop swinging. I disagree. I think they need to push it now and then to keep it going.”
This was a no-brainer for me. I explained that there wasn’t much friction to slow down the pendulum – just a little rubbing where the steel cable was attached to the ceiling – but enough so that the pendulum would stop eventually if it weren’t nudged now and then.”
Graham leaped on my explanation, gushing something like, “Would you like to be on television?!”
It took me a moment to grasp what he was asking – that he wasn’t kidding.
He said at another point he sensed the Lord saying, "I'm preparing you for something." Not long after that he was given the money to produce the film Little Red Wagon.
He said, "God has a destiny for you that's so much grander than your dreams because it's from Him."
During the Q/A session he was asked about time. He said Hindus and Buddhists believe that time is cyclical, that we'll come back as a better person or worse depending on how we live this life, and some Greek philosophers believed that every moment would be repeated thousands of years later. Dr. Guillen said that Christians were the first to see time as linear because it's an unfolding story.
Afterward he told me that he'd noticed that I'd raised my hand and apologized for not getting to me. I told him my question was about Marcelo Gleiser, the Dartmouth theoretical physicist who was recently awarded the Templeton Prize because of his "exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” In an interview with Scientific American (By the way Dr. Gleiser counts himself an agnostic. He isn't a Christian...yet.) he said, "There is a difference between 'science' and what we can call 'scientism,' which is the notion that science can solve all problems. To a large extent, it is not science but rather how humanity has used science that has put us in our present difficulties.” John Stonestreet of Breakpoint wrote about Dr. Gleiser's award and said, "Instead of staying humble and curious, proponents of scientism insist that any question we can’t answer in a laboratory isn’t worth asking. In effect, they stand on the little island of knowledge and deny the ocean (of the unknown) lapping at their toes.
I told Dr. Guillen that I'd heard 28% of scientists believe there is a God, and he said he thinks it more like 33-40% of scientists who believe there is a personal God, and when you count those who hold to a more deist position, that God created the universe but is no longer involved, that number goes much higher.
If you're near NYC I hope to see you there tonight!
Click here for my notes from Dr. Guillen's last talk I was able to attend at a Mastermedia event.