Out of Darkness, Light.

If God had meant for humans to fly, He would have given us wings. But God gave us something much better than wings; Dreams. My journey to Cranfield was not just to follow my dreams, but to chase them on a thousand mile journey, which began with a single step.

I am very grateful to the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) for supporting my career choice in the Aerospace sector. I am especially thankful for their guidance and for offering me a full scholarship to study MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design at Cranfield University. I am thankful also to all my family, colleagues, friends and lecturers who supported and walked with me as our path crossed. 

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

The day I had the interview that determined whether or not I would be offered the scholarship turned out to be one of the darkest days of my life that left in such state of despair for reasons I cannot disclose. But somehow, I found the strength to go for the interview on that very same day and did all I could, leaving the rest to God. The three professionals who interviewed me for the scholarship gave me tremendous encouragement and advice by sharing their own life experiences. I remember at the interview being told: “The spotlight is yours”

By definition, light does two things. Light radiates energy and shows the way clearly. Its rays render the invisible to be visible. Stars cannot shine without darkness. Darkness produces concealment, but light is transparent and authentic.  It was only brought to my attention recently that the motto of Cranfield University,  Post Nubes lux (Latin), means, “Out of darkness, light” 

The whole idea of education is really meant to be a journey from darkness to light by teaching us how to think and not what to think. Education is converting knowledge to wisdom. In fact, Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learnt in school.

A battleship was once maneuvering its way on a very dark and foggy night. The light coordinator reported to the captain that their ship seems to be heading on a collision course with another vessel, so the captain gave the order to signal that the other vessel must change course by 20 degrees to avoid colliding with their vessel. However, the return signal received said it was advisable that the captain’s ship should be the one to change its course by 20 degrees so to avoid the collision.

The captain was furious, and being adamant demanded to signal again and again to the other vessel to change course, and so he yelled at his signalman and said to him, send this message: “I am a battleship and I am ordering you to change course 20 degrees”. But the following response was received, “I can’t change course, I am a lighthouse.”

No one lights a lamp and hides it under a basket.  Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everything. When Jesus walked the earth He said “I AM the light of the world” but then before He went to be with His Father, He said to His disciples, “You are the light of the world”. Truly, there is no light without Christ, and He alone is my Lighthouse.

Alexander the great was only able to subdue the famous horse, Bucephalus by turning its face towards the sun so that it could no longer see its own shadow, which unknown to others had been the cause of its distress. Only when we turn our face towards the Son of God, will the shadow of our burden fall behind us.

It surely was a great privilege for me to study at Cranfield University. I struggled to keep up with the pace right from day one and contemplated on occasions to give up on my studies, but I hung in there just to see how far I could go. I even opted to explore uncharted territory by taking on a research project in a field I knew very little about. Time after time when in doubt, I was reminded that the Bible says:

“The race is indeed not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”

There is a saying, “Only fools rush in where Angels fear to tread”. But I say, “By Grace alone somehow I can stand even where Angels fear to tread, by lifting my eyes to the Maker of the mountains I cannot climb.”

To discover new oceans, we must be willing to take courage and lose sight of the shore. True strength does not come from what we can do, but from overcoming the things we once thought we could not do. In fact, we cannot fail at anything ever until we quit trying.

At one point, my studies felt like a complete disaster and I was facing the prospect of not graduating at all, but gratefully, I was allocated much needed time to undertake all required corrections. I was willing to gracefully accept defeat but would not accept not trying, so yet again, I did all I could, and the rest was up to God.

Personally, I think my journey to Cranfield was more to do with me learning to walk on water, and I’ve learnt from the experience that God keeps His promises even when I cannot keep mine. When it’s all said and done, I know I cannot rely today on yesterday’s success to carry me on today, for it is said that the man of tomorrow is forged only by his battles today.