I learned last winter, under the tutelage of “Professor Ray” at the Hands On Museum in Ann Arbor, that inertia causes something to resist a change in motion. Just to be certain Professor Ray wasn’t making this up, I went straight to the source of all truth and knowledge: Wikipedia.
The experts at Wikipedia state: Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendancy of an object to resist any change in its motion. This is interesting to me as one who strives to create change, both in myself and others. See, I always thought inertia was a state within itself–that because something HAD inertia, it resisted change. Turns out, inertia IS THE RESISTANCE. (Had I taken physics, I might have known this already. But, as you’ve already guessed by now, physics was not anywhere to be found on my course schedule, EVER.)
So as I’ve been inert this past week, I’ve been considering why. What is creating this tendency within me to resist any change in my motion? The weather, of course, plays a role. My health, or lack thereof this past week, plays a role. My busy schedule plays a role. My energy level plays a role. All have contrived together to keep me motionless. But I question, however, if there is something more…
“When you add weight to an object,” Professor Ray explained, “you add inertia.” *eyebrows raise* Does anyone else hear a DING!DING!DING! going off in their head? When you add WEIGHT, you add INERTIA. Could it get any plainer than this?
When we add weight–to our bodies, to our spirits, to our inner world–we increase our resistance to change. The greater the weight, or mass, the more equal and opposing force is necessary to move it. Momentum, I learned from Professor Ray, is equal to mass times velocity. The larger the mass, the more velocity necessary to create momentum.
When I add weight—literal pounds added to my body, an industrial-sized fear of failing, a comfort zone large enough to require its own zip code—I begin also adding, among other heavy things, the weight of hopelessness, fear, despair, and fatigue. The resulting change in mass can render me motionless for several days, waiting for an equal and opposite force to move me.
An equal and opposite force–now what do you suppose THAT could be? I know no other force capable of moving me. I need the velocity of the Holy Spirit to come crashing up against me, creating momentum and propelling me into motion. Like the little silver balls that clack-clack-clack once given to movement, I unfortunately seem to need to be banged up against, repeatedly, to be kept moving.
This is not a battle I can fight–I know this. I cannot overcome inertia on my own–this resistance within me to any change in my motion. I am powerless, literally, to impact this change.
I need you, Holy Spirit, to accelerate me under your force, and get me moving again. Come in your power, and set me in motion, that I may begin the work you have laid out for me.
(This post was originally posted by the author on her former blog, “More: My Search for That Which Really Satisfies,” in 2010. It reappears here with some minor changes.)