Friday, October 17, 2008
The theology of curves
[CAUTION: CONTAINS MATHS!]
Did you know that every line drawn on a graph has a formula which describes its path perfectly?
Chatting with a friend of mine at 1am this morning got me thinking about how sometimes we have no idea what God seems to be up to and your life seems to be a bit like an erratic curve on a graph. Let's face it, we like to know what's going to happen next in our lives - if we could choose to have a line to represent our lives then it would be a straight line (linear) graph. Always constant, the gradient never changes, and easy as pi (pardon the maths pun) to work out what it's going to look like 10, 50 or 10,000 steps down the line. In short - with a linear line, we can work it out very easily and predict what's going to happen.
But our lives aren't linear lines, they're curved and meandering, what's know as a differential curve. A-level maths teaches you that a differential curve which meanders around all in what looks to be a highly erratic way can be nigh on impossible to predict. Cue much flustering about not being able to predict this seemingly erratic path.
The great thing about curves however (well, as a maths bod) is that all curves have a formula which enables you to predict how the line will progress - perfectly. How encouraging to be reminded that God knows that formula - he just reveals a little bit of the line's path each day.
We may not be able to predict what's coming up next, or where our paths are going to pitch and soar (and sometimes seem to change direction), but we serve a God who knows that path back to front. He knows the formula that describes our path perfectly - from year to year, day to day, situation to situation. Our lives have some of the most complicated differential curves in all creation, so delicately interwoven into God's plan that it makes my head hurt.
And for each line that's carefully and lovingly woven into his marvelous plan, he knows the formula that describes where it's going. Perfectly. Let's learn to trust Him in the plotting of our paths.
weird is just your own personal brand of normal