The 1240 Club

There’s something important in the repetition of numbers, to which we must pay attention.  Let me explain.  Peters Township High School had two floors and was designed in a big square with a courtyard in the middle.  I had several lockers throughout my years there.  But when I received locker 1240, in my senior year, I had no idea into what it was going to transform.  And how that transformation would impact the rest of my life.   


See, locker 1240 was on the first floor, almost smack dap in the middle of the school, across from the courtyard.  This made it very convenient, for almost all of my classes were on the first floor that year.  Locker 1240 was also close to the auditorium, the cafeteria and, most importantly, the bathrooms.  Thus, it became a before school hang out spot and an after school meet up spot.


This reality was quickly realized, not only by me, but by my friends and even people that had yet to become my friends.  For people started to ask me if they could leave some of their books in my locker.  Books that they would need later in the day for their classes on the first floor.  Books that they didn’t want to lug around all day.  I was happy to let them use locker 1240.  For I’ve always believed – The more the merrier!


Well, it became a thing.  No longer was I able to put a jacket in my locker.  For books were stacked from the bottom to the top.  After every period I would gaze in wild wonder at the people using my locker.  They would dig out a book for their next class and deposit a book they just used.  And then they would be off, on with their day. 


Locker 1240 also became a make-shift lending library.  For if someone forgot their book, they knew that they could go to locker 1240 and borrow one.  Just as long as they returned it after they were done with it. 


Like I said earlier, some of the people who used locker 1240 were strangers to me.  That is until I saw them in my locker and went over and introduced myself.   To which they were more than happy to meet me.  Afterall they were using my locker.  Thus, I was able to meet some new people and make some new friends.  


One morning my friends and I were standing by locker 1240, before the first bell.  We were half way through the first semester of my senior year.  Thus, the pattern of several people using locker 1240, as their home-away-from-home locker, was in full swing. 


As we stood there, as was the custom, several people stopped by to drop off books and to pick up books, on their way to their first class of the day. That’s when we had a bright idea:  Locker 1240 was like a club and every club needed a name.  So, we put our prepubescent minds together and came up with – The 1240 Club.


One of us remembered that there was a black Sharpie in their bookbag.  Out it came and in the blink of an eye, run-of-the-mill locker 1240, transformed into The 1240 Club.  The words emblazoned in black Sharpie, on the outside of my locker, for everyone to see.  For the rest of my senior year, nobody went to locker 1240.  Everyone went to The 1240 Club.


At the same time that all of this was happening, I discovered that there was a local radio station in Pittsburgh that had their very own 1240 Club.  But this club had nothing to do with high school or lockers.  This club was about music. 


Every night, at 12:40 am, this radio station would play an entire album, without commercial interruptions.  This would allow anyone listening the chance to set up their cassette tape recorders.  So that they could have their very own personal copy of whatever album they were playing.  A practice that sounds very funny in this day of digital downloads, Spotify and the like. 


How strange and random was that?  Or was it?  We had The 1240 Club at school and The 1240 Club on the radio, both simultaneously.  Totally unrelated and totally separate, but sharing the exact same number.


Fast forward several years.  I’ve graduated from college.  I’ve dipped my toe into several jobs.  But nothing seems to fit.  Then I acknowledge my calling to ministry and off to seminary I go.  Both 1240 Clubs are well in my rearview mirror.  Or so I thought.


During my studies I encountered The Dictionary of Bible Themes.  Remembering my former connection with the number 1240, I decided to look up and see what the Biblical theme 1240 happened to be.  My mouth dropped open when I turned the page to number 1240 and I read – “God, the Rock”.  There’s something important in the repetition of numbers, to which we must pay attention.