The (sometimes) irrelevance of statistics


Statistics are interesting things. They can tell you a lot… or nothing at all, depending on how they are used.

British Columbia is the most westerly province in Canada, snugged up against the Pacific Ocean. I live in the extreme southwest corner of the province but at various times have travelled its highways and waterways to pretty well every part of it. One of our daughters lives in the southeastern corner of BC, a trip we frequently make. We drove there again this summer, through a variety of terrain:

(A click will enlarge each photo)


… through towering mountains …


… past lakes and rivers …


… through desert lands …


… and lush lands …


… until we returned once again to the Fraser Valley.

Fraser Valley

Every time we go I am amazed at the diversity of scenery. It isn’t a long distance by map-reading standards — a road trip of 950 km straight across the bottom edge of the province. But then I start comparing statistics. BC is 944,735 sq km in area. It represents just 9.5% of Canada’s 9,984,670 sq km. When I try to grasp that in proportion to the world’s 510,072,000 sq km, I can’t. It’s beyond my brain’s capacity. (So is getting these stats absolutely correct. Take them as approximations!)

So I wonder where I ever got the idea that my finite mind could take in the immensity of God’s infinity. No amount of studying will ever let me know him in totality. But as I travel life’s journey I can experience the bits that are applicable to my needs at any given time — the effect of his love, needed strength or courage, his comfort and peace, a spillover of joy, times of reverence and awe.

I don’t need to be able to see God, or to define or describe him. My experience of him is enough.


And if you think you need a writing analogy here… consider that you don’t have to know every detail of a story before embarking on its writing. If you have absorbed the concept, you can put the pieces together during the journey. Step out in faith and  keep going.


I keep asking that
the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the glorious Father,
may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation,
so that you may know him better.

(Ephesians 1:17)


For in it the righteousness of God
is revealed from faith for faith,
as it is written,
“The righteous shall live by faith.”

(Romans 1:17)

~  ~  ~


4 thoughts on “The (sometimes) irrelevance of statistics

  1. trinitycr says:

    I love everything about this post. 🙂 As for the writing analogy, that totally works for me. I was just thinking yesterday about how I can’t seem to really begin writing a story until I know how it feels (which I think means, for me, the tone, the mood, what sort of things I imagine it would evoke in a reader)…and I think this only settles in me when I’ve “absorbed the concept”.

    BTW, I see I’m signed into the church account instead of my own, but it’s me…really!

  2. Judith Robl says:

    I love this analogy and will be sharing this blog with my friends. BTW I love the new look of your background, too.

    Why do we humans keep trying to wrap our finite little minds around the limitless mind of our infinite God.? Talk about an exercise in futility…

  3. joylene says:

    I love this too, Carol. I am beginning to appreciate that sometimes that which is difficult and perhaps even painful is usually a good thing and well worth the faith it takes to accomplish it. Thanks, eh. For instance, it took me 3 tries to succeed in leaving a message.

  4. Carol says:

    Thanks for stopping in to comment, Shari, Judith and Joylene. (And I’m sorry, Joylene, that it took three tries. I don’t know why but I’m glad you made it.) 😀

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