Learning from Sir Isaac Newton and a Hound Dog

ImageSir Isaac Newton was a brilliant man whose contribution to science and mathematics cannot be overestimated.  He may have contributed more to the development of science than anyone else in human history.  This is pretty high praise, but well deserved.  I am, however, not overly impressed with his choice of hairstyle!

Newton may be best known for his three laws of motion found in his work Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Consider the first two laws:

First Law: Every object continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change that state by external forces acted upon it.

Second law: The acceleration (a) of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force (F) acting on the body, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely proportional to the mass (m) of the body.

To simplify, things that are sitting still don’t move unless something pushes them, pulls them, or in some other way compels them by force.  This is true for toy trains, monster trucks, and even planets. See, I told you he was a pretty smart guy!

These laws are also true for you and me. We have a tendency to stay where we are unless someone, some group, or something compels us in some way to move.  It may be love. It may be compassion. It may be greed. It may be pain.

I heard the story a long time ago about a traveling salesman who came upon a farmer sitting on his porch.  As he tried to sell the farmer this gadget and that, he noticed that the man’s old hound dog would occasionally let out a moan from where he lay.  After a while the salesman began to worry the dog might be sick or hurt.  He asked the farmer, “What’s wrong with your dog?”  The farmer replied, “Aw, nothin’ really. Buck over there laid down on a nail sticking up in the porch. He hurts him enough to moan but not enough to move.”

A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Is that you? Is it God’s will for your life? What things move you? Are they healthy or unhealthy? How do you influence others to move? Is that healthy or unhealthy? As we draw to the close of another year (and I am making the confidence assumption that we’ll all be here are December 21!), it is a good time to ask ourselves some serious questions about where we are, where we’re going, and where God is calling us to be.


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