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September 2018

do the math, the "new" math

IMG_4164Lately,  my journey finds me standing in front of Fifth Graders teaching things like Social Studies, Reading, Science, Writing and the “new Math.”

This morning I awoke with story problems on my mind that needed solving—they were life problems, not Math problems.  But then in my Bible reading this morning I encountered both life and Math problems too . . . and I found the answer.

Many times over the last few weeks I have said to my students, “Please show your work and share and discuss the results with your neighbor.”

So, here you go, this is how I did the work and where I found the answer:

Man as such is smoke,

    woman as such, a mirage.

Put them together, they’re nothing;

    two times nothing is nothing.


And a windfall, if it comes—

    don’t make too much of it.


God said this once and for all;

    how many times

Have I heard it repeated?

    “Strength comes

Straight from God.” (Psalm 62:9-11, MSG)

 Where is my hope and help? Is it in men, women, institutions, programs and people? Yes—at times those things are significant and helpful, but also temporal. They are real for a moment, and then gone.

What about a windfall, easy money, the big break? Surely, therein is the answer? Nope. It’s all nice, but not the answer. (Remember 2008?)

. . . two times nothing is nothing.

The psalmist has done the Math and has found a different solution—strength, help, and life, come “Straight from God.”

We are so inclined to look elsewhere; to rely on opportunities, to hopefully “win the lottery,” but in the end our grasping and clutching hands are left empty. We try to move the numbers around, change up our routines and tweak the formula, but as Aslan says, “There is no other stream.”

Where is your hope when the numbers don’t add up?

Do the math, the “new” math.

Look to the One that leaves the 99 for the 1, multiplies 7 loaves and 2 fish into a meal for thousands, and gives the life of His 1 and only son for the world (billions).

Life, like Math, is full of problems to be solved. Where are you looking for help and answers?

“Strength comes straight from God.” (Ps. 62:11, MSG)