I’ve been obsessed with the number 37 for many years. The source of my obsession stems from Kevin Smith, in the original Clerks movie, the scene where Donate and Veronica argued over the amount of people they’ve been with (up to and including each other). In a childish, sexual way, the number 37 was part of my life. I started to notice the number 37 popped up everywhere, at least once or twice a day. I grew up in Maple Heights Ohio and the zip code is 44137. My dad was born in 1937. My birthday is January 11th, 111, three times 37 is 111, and 37 is the root of all triple numbers, 6×37 is 222, 9×37 is 333, 12×37 is 444, and so on, so any triple number also represents 37.
In my 20s, I worked in a convenience store during college and graduate school. I worked with another Kevin Smith fan, who at the time was my manager Josh, who since then has become my very close friend. We worked in a store that was grossly understaffed by a variety of odd people. The convenience store was enough of a connection to Clerks and Smith’s movie where the movie was a common theme in our daily lives, as was the daily reoccurrence of the number 37. The number 37 almost had a calming effect on us in our daily stressful work lives. Every time we would notice the number 37, we would make a point to tell each other, followed by another quote from the movie, usually, “in a row.”
I have been out of the retail world for almost four years, and I’ve noticed 37 pop up in new, very different ways. I go to two churches, my Roman Catholic Church which I belonged to since I was a kid, which I attended with my mom weekly. And a Nazarene church which my wife has been a part of since she was a teenager. In the past year, the old pastor from her church (it’s our church, but, it’s easier to explain which one I’m talking about with stating it’s either mine or hers) was called to do something else, providing us a new, pastor. Pastor Mike’s first sermon was based on Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God” (ESV) and has come up multiple times in many of his sermons.
“For nothing will be impossible with God,” has been integral to my life over the course of the last year (1:37) in helping me overcome many of the monkey wrenches, kitchen sinks, and fecal matter at the fan the life has thrown my way. So, “in a row,” this year I’ve experience my good friend Josh being diagnosed with stage four cancer, I was laid off from my full-time job in July, and my mother passed away one month before her 75th birthday in September, all while teaching as an adjunct instructor at three schools and attempting to write my dissertation.
If I did not have faith in God, and did not believe that (1:37) “For nothing will be impossible with God,” I don’t know how I would have reacted to this chain of events. I cannot say that any of these events were easy, but I know I could have not done it alone. So, some will say this is a stretch, that I can take a silly dirty joke from a Kevin Smith movie and translate it to God’s message which gives me comfort, which gives me faith that through Him, we’re going to be okay. It could be a stretch, that God knew to communicate that message to me at an early age, in a way that I would pay attention, in a way that would perk my interests and transform it to something meaningful, because, 37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”