Pass the Pi and Ice Cream, Please

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It’s Pie Day…and I almost missed it!  Oops.  Not “pie,” which I never pass up, but “Pi,” which I’ve never understood. But all around me, folks who know more than I know about science and math are about as excited about “Pi Day” as I am when someone offers me a piece of cherry pie, hopefully warm and with ice cream.  (My wife also makes apple and pumpkin pies that are to die for!)

So, I asked myself, what’s the big deal?

I finally got it that this year’s “Pi Day” has Pi-users and lovers in a tizzy because at 9:26:53, the time will approximate Pi to ten places: 3.141592653.  From there the numbers keep going into infinity.  They are calling today the Pi Day of the century, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you’re excited now, pass me some whipped cream.

Then I came across an article in “The New Yorker” that answered the question, “Why Pi Matters.”  Here’s the line that hooked my attention like the tang of a Florida key lime pie.  “The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach…Pi touches infinity.”

Now, there was something I could sink my fork into.

Touching Infinity 

My thought leaped to the mind-stretching words of Paul to the Colossians:

“He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible…all things have been created through him and for him…and in him all things hold together.”  (Colossians 1:15-17)

Paul was restating the shocking words of the epistle of John:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being…And the Word became flesh and lived among us.”  (John 1:1-3, 14)

Explain that?  You’ve got to be kidding. I can no more explain that than I can explain the meaning of Pi.  (Or, for the matter, explain why cherry pie with ice cream sets my taste buds dancing.)

But here’s the deal.  Although I cannot explain Pi, I know that Pi explains just about everything that has to do with geometry, mathematics or engineering, all the way from measuring the size of a pie plate to building the Skyway bridge. Although I cannot explain how the Word became flesh in Jesus, knowing him explains just about everything I need to know about the essential character of the infinite God and just about everything I need to know about how to live in this finite creation.  In Jesus, I can touch infinity and know that it is very good.

Now, where is that pie?

Grace and peace,

Jim

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4 thoughts on “Pass the Pi and Ice Cream, Please

  1. Just wanted you to know that our family had a little PI girl child arrive on 3-15-15 @ 9:26. Of course most of us did not notice this phenom except that sweet little Lillian Marie has an uncle who is a physicist and made sure to point it out to his brother and her father in the waiting room. We all knew
    this child was a miracle since her Dad was told that he could never bear a child. Science, Mathematics and Sweet Infinite Jesus intervened and so: in our family Jim, we are all “considering the LILY” this week. Loved your post as always. and our class is loving ( And being challenged by) your Disciple’s Path in Sunday School also…it ended up being our Lenten Study after all since we can’t seem to cover more than 1 or 2 days per session during our discussion.

  2. So, like “paper or plastic” when we are living a life serving others we say “apple, cherry or Jesus?” Got it. I think. I am sure William celebrated Pi day. He would find that plenty enough reason to celebrate.

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