In a world of many mysteries, one of the greatest remains the varied ways in which God touches human lives. I had an intriguing experience recently while on a speaking trip in Los Angeles.
I gave a talk at Loyola-Marymount University and a number of the students came to listen. Afterwards, a young man approached me and said, among other things: “I have found God through my studies.”
I was delighted for him, so I asked, “And what is your major.”
His answer? “Pure mathematics.”
He went on to say that in that realm he had become convinced of the action of God in his life and had set his goals accordingly. We had an interesting exchange about many things, among them atheism for which he had little sympathy since the very studies that seemingly supported many of their theories had been his pathway to a deeper relationship with his creator. He was sincere and so balanced.
I left that university with great hope for the future. If even one such thinker exists on each of the hundreds of college campuses across our country, isn’t there some reassurance for the future? And what about each of us?
It was almost 2000 years ago that Paul of Tarsus stood before the Areopagus in ancient Athens and told his audience: “The God who made the world and everything in it…does not live in shrines made by human hands... Indeed he is not far from each of us.”
The bored Athenians told him to come again another day. They missed their opportunity to ask what those shrines on every corner really meant for their lives. May we hear Paul’s words as we go to the supermarket and the office, the subway and the deli, the sidewalk and... We may not find God in pure math, as my young student did, but it may well be in a place we least expect. Do have a happy surprise!