On Christ, Anxiety, and Waiting (in Academia)

More than most of us are willing to admit, the life of an academic and scientist consists of much waiting.

Some do this better than others; I am not, by nature, one of them.

Many times I have been weighted down by the anxiety of waiting: for graduate school acceptance letters, for getting a grant for my research, and for graduate research fellowship funding, etc.

It is now the season of waiting to hearing from graduate schools (the tail end of that), fellowship applications, job search for new graduates, etc. It is lent, too, though I am not of the Catholic tradition.

The following is probably the most personal post I have attempted. I will share how the Holy Spirit ministers to me through the Bible in hopes that it would help minister to you in such seasons. Especially for those of you whom Jesus has called to be a missionary in the scientific fields–the prevalence of Christians in these fields could probably qualify them as unreached people groups! (Perhaps with the exception of physics and mathematics by reputation? But I have no stats, and it is neither here or there.)

These are not trite statements, but came both from seasons of waiting that turned out to be “successful” and “unsuccessful.” Amazing that the Spirit gave me the same comfort prior to both. Humbling too, that He has to do this repeatedly for me [chuckle]. I am the “chief of sinners” and still learning this, repeatedly.

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Odds Are: On the difference between odds, probability, and risk ratio.

Odds, Probability, Chance, Risks: Interchangeable?
Not so much.

What does it mean to say “smokers are X times more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers?” What about
when the weather channel says, “there is a 10% chance of rain?” The odds of 1 to 10 of winning?

These words are often used in casual conversations as somewhat interchangeable, and can be rather confusing. I remember being very excited to learn about them for the first time, so hopefully you will find this as interesting (or at least as clarifying!) as I did!

A little test!


In which of the following scenario are you most likely to find dessert happiness? Which ones are saying the same thing?

A. The odds against you eating a cupcake are 1 to 5.

B. Your odds of/on eating a cupcake are 1 to 5.

C. The probability of you eating a cupcake is 20%.

D. You have a 20% chance of eating a cupcake.

Answers, in short: A is the most likely-for-cupcake scenario, and C and D are saying the same thing.

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