Living with Purpose: Senior Reflection from Daryus Vaughan ’20

As students finish up their second full week of classes and adjust to their new “normal,” The Bell is resharing the senior reflection of biblical studies and political science graduate Daryus Vaughan ’20. As a Gordon student, Vaughan participated in a variety of campus ministries, including A.F.R.O. Hamwe, God’s Chosen Gospel Choir and Gordon College Student Association. He is passionate about racial reconciliation and unity within the Church, and he aspires to be a pastor.

We’re returning to his words of wisdom because they are just as relevant now as they were last spring—and this time the first-year students can benefit from them too.

God Will Reveal His Blueprint for Your Life in Moments of Service to Others

As a first-year student, Vaughan was given the opportunity to preach at a church. He recalls that, in this moment, God revealed the blueprint for his life. Vaughan’s advice is to reflect on all of the moments where you have used your gifts to serve others. “Maybe God has already . . . shown you your purpose or that mission that he has for your life,” he explains.

Be Intentional About the Things That Are Right in Front of You

In college, Vaughan was not always satisfied with his grades. “I didn’t perform academically in the way I truly desired to,” he says. Instead of feeling disempowered by this realization, he let it change him. He started to look at his life more intentionally. His new mindset improved his grades and his relationships. Beyond academics, Vaughan began to prioritize friendships and identify the people he wanted to spend more time with. He says, “I don’t think a lot of people realize that who you choose as your friends is so important to your life.”

Comparison Distracts Us from God’s Unique Call on Our Lives

“In my time at Gordon, I noticed that I compare myself to people a lot,” says Vaughan. Be it grades, career progress or even Instagram posts, Vaughan found himself falling into the trap of comparison. He recalls being a first-year student and having friends and strangers alike sizing him up to older students. While it’s important to celebrate our similarities, he says that it can be destructive to mirror your life after someone else. “Comparison can cause you to lose sight of where God’s desires for you are—because you’re trying to pursue a purpose that was not intended for you,” he cautions.

Focus on Your Response When Things Are Outside of Your Control

Though Vaughan’s college experience was a happy one, there were times when people were unkind. When that happened, he treated those moments as occasions to show Christ’s love. “It was an opportunity for me to not allow my circumstances in life to determine how I respond to them,” he says. “I respond to them in a way that Christ has called me to worship and love and reconcile. This is a product of redemption.”

We will all face difficult situations in life. Whether it be heartbreak, loss or a pandemic, Vaughan says, God is looking at how you respond. “Never give power to the issues you endure, but focus on your response. Your response to your experiences can shape your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual future.”

To read more sage advice from the Class of 2020, read “Trust in a Time of Crisis”.

Article by Anna Kinkade ’21psychology and communication arts