I do not like math with a book, I do not like math with a crook, I do not like them math in a van, I do not like math when counting cans. I do not like math Sam I am. I do not like math, it is just who I am.
I do not know when my love affair with math ended. In grade school I used to really enjoy playing the math game “around the world” with my classmates…but now that I think about it, I think I only enjoyed it because it was a competition and I had to win at all costs, even if it meant doing math. I vividly remember having a conversation with a teacher in high school about how 2+2 does not always equal four. This did not go over well with him, but I, being the stubborn person I am, stuck to my guns and tried to explain myself. I remember arguing, what if there are four women and two of them are pregnant, and this would then mean there are actually six people and not four, thereby in this case 2+2 = 6. This has always been my math logic…I understand the basic concepts but wanted room to play with the numbers and try to get new results. I have always been a “what if” kind of person.
I recently had to take three math classes for my undergraduate degree and went into those classes dreading them, knowing full well not only do I loathe math, but it is one subject I just do not excel at. Lucky for me, my friend and co-founder of The Torch, Rhonda, thinks in numbers and is somewhat of a math genius and I was able to get some tutoring from her. So, as I begrudgingly dove(and by dove I mean forcible pushed) into these math classes I soon discovered a few things; 1) TI-84 calculators are among the best inventions of all time 2) I am not as bad as math as I thought 3) math can actually be fun 4) I really hate odd numbers so was re-affirmed I have a tendency towards OCD.
One of the reasons Rhonda loves math is because things “always add up.” She can look at the problem, see the way to quickly calculate and solve the problem, and get the answer in no time. I on the other hand, see the math problem, start thinking about Detroit Tigers baseball or drinking an ice cold chocolate malt, and then start trying to solve the problem. There were numerous occasions when I would work through the math problem and get the correct answer, but in a very roundabout way. It sure was not the “correct” method being taught to me in class, but I somehow was managing to get the correct answers – so it became my method – and I ended up getting A’s in my dreaded math classes. Don’t get me wrong, I still do not really like math, but the days of loathing it are gone.
I am not the only one who has struggled with math either. All throughout the Bible God does some pretty unreal things with regards to math and making numbers not add up. In Numbers 11 (the irony this blog is about math and the book of the Bible I’m referring to is Number is not lost on me), the people of Israel start complaining about being hungry and only eating manna (most of us would kill for this all carb diet) and beg God for one day’s worth of meat. God being God was like, ok, I will see you one day of meat and raise you a month, and lo and behold it starts raining quail (I think this was the original version of its raining men).
Then there is this crazy time when Jesus feeds 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish from a boys lunch. Last time I checked 5+2 is 7 (keep in mind I am not good at math, but did confirm this with a 2nd grader and they agreed with my calculations) and this meal should have fed roughly seven people on a good day and small appetites. God somehow manages to turn 7 into 5000, with 12 baskets of food left over! I LOVE God’s math! God always leaves room for the “what if’s” in life.
What if we actually trusted God with what we have? What if we gave more than we get? What if we helped the homeless, the weak, the poor, the hurting? What if we loved others more than ourselves? What if we took chances, left mediocre behind, and lived in reckless abandon for God? What if we prayed for, and expected, God to provide for us? What if we prayed everyday for God to use us in a mighty and powerful way to be used by Him, for Him?
What if we decided to buy a food truck, hand out free food to those in need, tutor children for free, loved the forgotten, hugged the homeless and adored the elderly? When we started talking about The Torch, we knew our dreams were beyond us, and the only way any of this would come to fruition is with God. Rhonda and myself both work two jobs and in full disclosure and transparency, struggle to make ends meet ourselves. We don’t know the first thing about how to run a food truck. We don’t know where we are going to park the food truck. We don’t know how we are going to pay for the gas in the food truck. BUT what we do know is God’s math does not add up, and He will turn 7 into 5000 for us. God will provide the rest of the money we need to buy the appliances we need, or they will get donated. God will provide a place for the food truck to be parked. God will provide money for gas and other expenses.
We do know we have left room for the “what ifs” and are excited to see where God takes us, to be used by Him and to serve the God with unlimited resources, power, love and grace. God always provides…so what if…