Random And Unpredictable

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Many years ago I trained as a mathematician. I became a maths teacher, liking the patterns, structures, logic…

And yet I often think in random ways. This morning I walked past a sign ‘Temporary Bus Stop’ Is that a permanent stop for temporary buses or a temporary stop for permanent buses?

In the country I saw a sign ‘Strawberries Turn Right.’ So how does a strawberry turn right?

Life’s random, unpredictable. Friends get ill, families fall out, weddings get cancelled, we have three sunny days in a row and a grumpy neighbour smiles…

Sarah started a new job as a Teaching Assistant in a primary school last Monday. She thought when was providing support for one little girl; she finished supporting four children – including Jonny, a troubled child. Sarah was kept busy.

‘Will you be coming back tomorrow, Miss?’ asked Jonny at the end of the day. ‘Yes – if that’s alright with you,’ said Sarah. ‘That’s OK. You’re alright.’ Jonny reassured her.   

Unpredictable day, unexpected comment.

I visited Geoff’s house and went in his office. A pile of invoices and utility bills, perhaps a foot high, stood on the floor by his desk. I asked about his huge pile of papers. ‘It’s my random access filing system,’ Geoff told me.

The Bible is often random and unpredictable – talking donkeys, men-swallowing fish, wife-stealing kings alongside men and women demonstrating wisdom, compassion and honour. Some people get upset because the Bible isn’t a rational, logical textbook. I love it for that very reason.

Jesus comes saying that the poor, the mourners, and the meek are blessed and happy… we should love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and forgive those who wrong us repeatedly.

Yet through all his random, counter-cultural, illogical, non-mathematical life I find an utterly compelling teacher who provides me with a person, pattern and power for life, that will continue with me through my random today into my unpredictable tomorrow.

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