A short while ago, Bob Horton (Professor of Soil Physics at Iowa State) talked with a group of MSU faculty and graduate students about what it meant for him to be a Christian academic. He has a powerful story of how God worked in his life to show him that God was less interested in his academic success than in his knowing God and serving God well.
When it became obvious to Horton that God was asking more of him, especially in terms of love, he approached this challenge in a very academic way: he did as much as research as he could on the subject of love. The result has been a conviction to be more open to how God is working around him: from following an initial sense that God was calling him to ask others how he could pray for them (and doing so immediately), Horton has seen God working through him to provide miraculous healing (primarily for/with people with no /little Christian background). His testimony gave evidence of his deep desire to love others and care for them, and wanting to grow in that love.