Friday Afternoon Math // M-Note 7.26.2019
People often ask me how I went from studying theoretical math to being a pastor. The two seem pretty disconnected, far apart. I suppose that is true in a lot of ways. But at its core, math has a beauty, a philosophy, an aesthetic if you will. There is much about math that gets you thinking, not just about numbers, but about life. Consider this for instance. There are as many numbers between 0 and 1 as there are between 0 and 1,000,0000. I know, it sounds off right? Certainly, if there are an infinite set of numbers between 0 and 1, then there should be a larger infinite amount between 0 and 2 or 0 and 1,000,000. But there’s not (I am expecting some math genius in the congregation to email me with the nuances here).
Not to get too philosophical, but dwelling on this mathematical truth makes me think about possibilities in life. Sometimes we think that to do more, achieve more, and discover more, we have to get far away from where we are. Travel halfway around the world, get a new job, shed every relationship and start all over somewhere else. But this math fact would remind us that sometimes there are as many possibilities right where we are, as there are halfway around the world. Life has an endless amount of beauty, discovery, possibility, and potential right where you are now. You don’t need to go anywhere else to find it.
I won’t overdo the metaphor, but this can be a hopeful word. Many people feel trapped by the current circumstances of their life. We can fall in to “if only” thinking. If only I lived somewhere else, dated someone else, had a different job, earned a higher amount, then life would be better, I would be happier, or I would have a greater chance for new possibilities and purpose. But that sort of thinking can keep us from seeing that even right here, with the life you have, and the people you are surrounded by, and the place you live, there is just as much possibility and potential as there would be if you changed everything. God is equally present here, equally capable right now, and equally powerful to do something new and surprising with you just as you are and where you are.
I find hope in that. And I’m sharing it because you may find hope in it to. So go outside, take a walk, pay attention to what is around you, and remember the words of Jesus when he said, “with God all things are possible” (Matt.19.26) even right here and on a day like today.
P.S. This weekend I will be continuing my series Accidental Influencers on the book of Acts. If you missed last week’s message, I urge you to listen to it. Don’t forget to be a part of our Baptism Sunday on August 11th. You can register to be baptized or to reaffirm and remember your baptism here. I answered a lot of logistical questions in last week’s mNote. I hope that everyone will be part of this day as together we recommit to being a community following Christ together.