Thursday, July 29, 2010

The First Law of Motion

The principle of inertia: An object in motion remains in motion and an object at rest remains at rest, unless acted upon by an external force.
If I could change one law of physics, I think it might be this law. So often I find myself locked into doing one thing, without an external force to save me from my initial choice. I sat down on the couch with the laptop to check my email; hours later--after reading my email, catching up on all the news on facebook, scanning the news sites, and searching online to answer random questions that popped into my head while doing all of the above--I find myself distracted by yet another online task, blogging. I haven't moved from my seat the entire time, and it's all inertia's fault.

Just like a ball thrown in the air has its motion stopped by gravity and friction, when I try to do something profitable or productive, external forces arise to keep me from it. Doing worthwhile things is tough, and it requires sacrifice, time, patience, and faith that the final result will be worth the effort. Often I add up all the external forces in this world that seek to keep me inert, and I give in; they're just too much, the cost is too great, and maybe inertia isn't that bad.

In those moments, I need to check my math. Just as first-graders make simple addition mistakes, like forgetting to carry the one, I've forgotten that "greater is He that is in [me], than he that is in the world."1 Jehovah tips the balance and changes the equation. If I look to Him for my strength, I can take on a whole army; with Him, I can scale a wall.2 Without Him, the world's external forces keep me inert, but if I take the strength He offers, I can do anything.3

Why am I still on this couch?

1 1John4:4.
2 Ps.18:29.
3 Phil.4:13.

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