Thursday, February 9, 2012

God's Algorithm (Week 36 of Fireflies at Dusk: A 52-Week Project)

This week, I introduced my little one to an important piece of Gen X history...the Rubik's Cube.  This has been one of the best, if not the best selling toy of all time which means that this had a place in the childhood of most Gen Xers all over the world.  Whether you kept one on your book shelf or used it on your desk as a paperweight, you probably remember owning one of these.   I told my daughter what a special piece of Gen X history it is, and she seemed to understand because she makes a special request for "the squares" and then cradles it carefully in her arms.

When I was in kindergarten, I was the youngest of all the school kids each day at my babysitter's house.   One day after school, all these older-cooler kids were playing with a Rubik's Cube and couldn't solve it even with several of them trying.  "Let me try,"  I shyly said as I stood there with my corduroy pants and blond pigtails.  They scoffed and handed it to me only because they weren't sure what else to do.  I looked at it from every angle until a mathematical equation appeared in my mind showing me the solution that I used to solve the cube.  All the older-cooler kids stood there with their mouths gaping open, and  I handed it back with a huge smile.  I stood in the faux wood paneled living room of my babysitter's house and shone in my Gen X moment of glory.

Have you ever heard of God's Algorithm?  It is an algorithm that produces a solution having the fewest number of moves in solving a puzzle.  It is called God's Algorithm because it is believed that only an omniscient being would know an optimal step from any configuration (the solution is optimal in that there is no shorter solution). After research done by brilliant people over three decades along with about 35 CPU years of idle computer time donated by Google, it was finally discovered in July of 2010 that God's number for the Rubik's Cube is 20 - which means it can be solved in 20 moves or less.  So from any configuration of the Rubik's Cube (no matter how mixed around the squares are) the optimal number of moves in a solution is no more than 20.

Here is God's Algorithm for your life: when people scoff at you because they do not believe you are capable, close your eyes and find the solution from within you. When all your colors are so mixed together that you don't know which way to turn to get yourself straight, trust in the algorithm created for you.  To those not omniscient, it may appear that you are scattered, but you are just finding your equation.  Maybe 20 moves from now, all your colors will match up.  Maybe everything in your life - even the unfair things, even the unspeakable things, will begin to make sense.

I spent all my growing up years in a colossal struggle with math that only got worse as I got older.  I became more and more stressed about it as my grades continued to go down.  I was told that I would not amount to anything in life because I was no good at math.  Now I realize how ridiculous all that was, especially because  it came from my lack of self-confidence.  On the outside, when it appeared that I didn't have all my squares in order, I was carrying around extraordinary equations in my head.

God's Algorithm for my life was this: all the things that I have done and experienced, all the things I have struggled with or embraced, all the things I have walked away from, made it so I could become exactly what He meant for me to be.  When we are busy judging someone because they are unable to solve something as inconsequential as a simple calculation, what we do not know is that they may have an algorithm in their mind, or even in their heart,  that they cannot express. The less we judge others, the more room it gives us to see the potential they hold.  The more we can believe in ourselves and the algorithm within, the more we allow ourselves to be extraordinary.

Go find your algorithm.

(c) 2012 photography and writing by Chloe - all rights reserved