Some people in our workplace, on this day, challenge each other to recite p to as many decimal places as they can. The current record stands in the 600s somewhere. They also wear witty T-shirts featuring p. Someone who heralds from the Western Isles wears “p in the Skye”. Another wears “Scotch p” whilst a strapping lad has opted for “Pop p”. I think if I went down that road I might have to be “Humble p”.
Yesterday my husband and I were catching up on TV programmes we had recorded but not yet watched. One of them was “Person of Interest”. In this particular episode Harold was on his own trying to save someone from either committing a crime or being on the receiving end of a crime committed against them. He had taken the post of a Maths supply teacher. The class was just too reminiscent of many that I have known – totally switched off and playing on mobile phones. Harold tried to inspire a little interest without much success.
He wrote p on the board with a string of numbers after it and asked if anyone knew what it was. There were blank looks – not because they didn’t know but because they didn’t want to betray their interest.
Harold went on to explain that p consists of a string of numbers that never repeat themselves. If you were to look through all the numbers that could ever be printed off – an infinite number of numbers – lurking somewhere an amongst the numbers would be your birth date, your home telephone number, your social security number and any other number you can think of.
That did capture the imagination of the class.
P and I might share a birth date but we are not twins. P has a string of never repeating numbers where I always seems to fall into old habits and thought patterns that constantly repeat. I find myself falling into old traps that I thought I had dismantled and thrown away. I suppose not all habits have to be bad ones but all habits have the potential to become ruts.
Faith is not about following some formula that always works. It’s not like the never-let-me-down-once cake recipe.
I think faith is more like p. Every day is a new never-to-be-repeated adventure. God is the constant factor but everything else, my worship, my prayers, my sense of His presence, should always be new. I may find God in the familiar places but every encounter teaches me something new or something old with a fresh understanding.