I know, it’s been a while since I’ve been around! I got busy with stuff, and honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve had a lot to contribute since I’ve focused less on direct faith / philosophy matters lately.
That’s because I’ve been focused on professional development in my own career. I love writing about this stuff, but this blog doesn’t put food on the table. So I’ve taken it upon myself to learn about all things related to data science, and I am deep into mathematics, more deep than I ever expected I’d go beyond high school.
And the interesting thing is… I love it. I’m finding this stuff endlessly fascinating, and I’ve become a bit of a math nerd as a result. I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere close to being proficient in things like calculus or even trigonometry, but I’ve come a long way since the beginning of 2018.
This evening, I was learning about cross entropy, which is a combination of probability and logarithmic functions, and just sitting there in awe of how this all combines to form the fundamentals of neural networks… when my wife asked me to put my eight month old to bed. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughters, but when I’m in deep on a topic, breaking my focus can be mildly irritating.
Anyway, I begrudgingly carried her upstairs to bed., and as I was changing her into her pajamas, however, that irritation quickly melted away. She was being extra smiley, and after making silly faces at her, she broke into her giggly self that warms my heart through and through.
After laying her in her crib, I gave pause to an interesting thought… as much I appreciate and like learning about complex mathematics, the things that make me the most happy (namely, my daughters) are the most simple. And that concept carries throughout the rest of life.
Including the Bible.
The most foundational stories in the Bible are simple enough that we’ve been able to turn them into things we can communicate to kids, even kids as young as toddlers. I’m seeing that in my daughters right now, and growing up in a faith-oriented home, I can recall reading my copy of The Beginner’s Bible cover to cover all the time. And for the most part, the fundamental lessons learned in that kids Bible ring true even for adults today.
But as foundational and easy-to-understand as the Bible can be, it can also be meaty, hairy, and difficult to wrestle with the more you dig into it. I feel that I’ve learned more about the Bible and my own faith more in 2018 (at the age of 29) than I have in my entire life. Interestingly, though, for as much as I have learned in 2018, many of the foundational ideas learned as a child still ring true today.
Mostly, this is just an interesting observation on my part and one that I felt hope would segue me back into writing again on this blog! But I suppose if there’s one lesson we can glean, it’s a partial answer to this question: how do we raise children in faith as we adults continue to wrestle through our own faith issues? Richard Rohr, in his “three boxes” metaphor, shares that it’s probably not a bad idea to hold fast to those same fundamental concepts we ourselves grew up on.
I think I agree with that. For as much as I wish as I could hit the fast forward button in my daughters’ brains to the place of faith that I’m in right now, they’re going to have to discover much for themselves. And, of course, I’m struggling getting the bigger one to share her toys with the little one, so I think sharing my same existential struggles with her is probably a bit much to lay on her.
We’ll wrap it up there. Sorry for the two month break! I hope to be back here again soon.