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Archive for November, 2009
So, I’m doing lots of exciting gathering of statistics and drawing of graphs at work at the moment, and have been making use of the excellent Matplotlib and NumPy Python libraries to help me. They’re both really handy bits of code, but there’s some awful examples of inconsistent design in there. For example:
import numpy data = numpy.array([1,2,3]) mean = data.mean() median = numpy.median(data)
– that is, mean() is a method on array(), which makes sense, but median() is a global function that takes an array as a parameter. I’m sure someone, somewhere, has a really good reason for that. But I’m also sure they’re pretty much wrong.
In the past, I’ve made no secret of the fact I’m no great fan of evangelism. Now, a lot of things have changed since I wrote that post – I’m in a different place, literally and spiritually, to where I was then – but most of what I wrote in that post still rings true, I think. So, when my church announced that we were going to be having a Lifestyle Evangelism Mission Week Thing this week, I’d be lying if I said my heart didn’t sink a little. The plan was that we’d be spending the week concentrating on the idea of being missional in our everyday lives – at work, at home and in all the places we inhabit daily – and that we’d meet up with other people who worked or lived in similar circumstances to ourselves to pray and talk about how we were doing – which I was also, frankly, apprehensive about, because “praying” and “talking about myself” are probably numbers 2 and 3 on the list right behind “evangelism” on the Big List of Christian Things I Don’t Much Like (which, I will concede, is quite a long list). But these meetings were being held in my lunch hour, only ten minutes away from my office, so I didn’t have much excuse not to go along.
And you know what? It’s been pretty good, actually. I mean, I don’t think there’s been any lightning-bolts-from-heaven style revelations for any of us, nor do I think there’s waves of new converts appearing in all our offices over the city. But, at least for me personally, meeting up with other people at lunchtime and having a short, non-threatening and non-imposing chat and pray has been a useful way to anchor my day around something other than just work, and to maybe break down some of the barriers I’m so good at putting up between work-Chris, home-Chris, church-Chris and many of the other artificial distinctions I make about myself. The other people I’ve been meeting up with have been lovely and not too scary and it’s been good to have contact with some people other than software engineers for a change…
So, I’m still not convinced I want to go around beating on about the whole “believe or burn” shtick, but I’ve at least “outed” myself at work as a Christian, and have managed to see my life as a little more than just the working week/church on sunday routine that it had perhaps fallen into somewhat lately. And perhaps this missional living thing might have something to it, too – not being radical or weird about my faith, but simply allowing God into the everyday things, and the everyday things into my spiritual life, and not making artificial distinctions where there ought be none.
(footnote: I’m aware that this post is a bit rambling and unfocused. It’s a long time since I’ve done any proper writing, and I’m tough out of practise, so I hope you’ll all forgive me – I’m really intended to pick this stuff back up again and not just condense my every thought into 140 characters for the purposes of Twitter, but it’s going to take me a little while to get back into the habit, I think. Bear with me, okay?)