Accurate. And Wrong

Tommie and Hank Aaron hold the MLB record for career home runs by two brothers.

They averaged 384 career homers. That’s a lot.

Hank Aaron was the greatest home run hitter in baseball history. His career total (755) set the major league record (*see note below). Tommie Aaron played for several years and hit 13 major league home runs. The average is correct – and it paints a completely misleading picture.

I thought about the Aaron brothers when Becky suggested we enter the HOPE & FREEDOM CHALLENGE as a husband/wife team. Our total of about 6,800 miles makes me look good.

Also completely obscures Becky’s amazing 4,400 miles.

My point? One can manipulate data in ways that obscure the true circumstances. We see that in current events as folks twist themselves into pretzels making numbers fit a pre-determined conclusion.

Science and math work best when we study data in an honest attempt to understand and reveal truth.

Our HOPE & FREEDOM CHALLENGE accumulated more than 56,000 miles, and that’s remarkable. But if we stare at that number we risk obscuring the real story.

Family conversations about the horrors of human trafficking.

People who started fitness routines with lifelong benefits.

Discussions on road or trail when someone saw handprints and asked, “What’s that about?”

Folks who discovered the joy of sacrifice for a cause bigger then themselves and might continue the journey.

Conversations with God.

A group of kids halfway around the world who watched with amazement and felt encouraged and empowered as the miles accumulated.

As part of a bigger initiative we raised more than $109,000 to bring hope and freedom to kids rescued from human trafficking.

It’s important to use data properly. I spent my professional life helping students understand how numbers, data, and math can help us better understand the world around us.

55,000 miles and $109,000 are a big deal. They’re not THE big deal.

In the end, what matters is the people, the connections, the stories, and how Jesus works with us to advance His kingdom.

* Another player who cheated by using steroids holds the official record.

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