Posted by: Chuck Farley | November 10, 2011

Forward Motion – Part III

… Acted on by an external force.  Enter those forces that just won’t leave me alone.  Gravity, friction, people who tempt us to rush into the season by insisting on playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving, and many other insidious forces intended to slow or redirect our forward motion.

During Naval Nuclear Power School, first half….Vector Analysis.  The basis of reactor physics and radiation shielding principles.   Yuck … Not one of my favorite classes, but the ability to understand forces not only in terms of energy but also in terms of direction was key in being able to control that energy.  Blah, Blah, Blah…

Some of those forces like gravity, imperceptibly at times, continually pull us down and combined with other forces (friction) continually impede our progress.  Just overcoming these deterrences requires us to expend more of that energy that got us going in the first place and if we are not careful, we could easily grind to halt.  Take advantage of those down hills, fuel up for those uphills, and pound across those rough surfaces.  Where do I get that strength.  Food?

“And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deut 8:3, ESV)”

What about all of those other vectors, those forces that drive us from that straight and narrow road.  Expending energy in the wrong direction can be disastrous?  Forward motion is more than power and vision.  We need something to keep us headed in the right direction.  Was going to include an awesome sailing story from Anthony Nelson to set up the next post, but alas, it was gone. Maybe later.  Oh…Found it

Anthony Nelson  “Years ago I owned a small sail boat, like this one  I sold it when we moved to PHX. I learned how to sail with that boat on the Ohio River in Owensboro. One of the first/hardest lessons was to figure out how to sail it in light wind. When the wind would die down to almost nothing I learned that it took more skill to get from point A to point B. I would pick my heading, a point on the horizon, and with my ignorance – man handle the tiller (which connects to the rudder, which directs the boat) until I found some wind. And because I was impatient I would inevitably continue to make abrupt turns with the tiller and totally frustrate the progress of the boat. Eventually, I learned to handle the tiller lightly, as gently as possible, with as much skill as I could muster. And what I found was that my momentum built quickly, which gave me directional control and speed. So, maybe strength isn’t always the answer. I do think you’re strong. But I also think you’re skillful. There must be a point on the horizon that God has chosen for you. No doubt it will take some skill to get through these light winds. But like they say in sailing; light winds make the sailor. “



  1. Sometimes I forget you are all…sciency and junk.



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