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Life Physics

I haven’t taken any science classes since my one required “Physics for Poets” class in college but this last month and a half has been a refresher course on inertia, Newton’s First Law of Motion, and momentum.1

The first week after my ordination service was the hardest. I didn’t know what to do with myself. There were no papers to write, no traveling to do, no service to plan, no event to organize. For the first time in at least three years I did a whole lot of nothing.

It was not nearly as restful as it sounds. Yes, Sabbath time is necessary but this didn’t feel like Sabbath. There was little reflection, little prayer. A lot of TV. And after a few days, a growing sense of guilt.

What about all the things I had wanted to do but didn’t because there wasn’t enough time in the day between school and church?

The healthy habits I gave myself a pass on because I was so busy. The pile of books I hadn’t gotten around to because I was always reading for school. The curriculum I said I would write. The professional connections I should be making. The social justice I could be participating in.

All of my excuses had disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Before an outside urgency had been propelling me forward, moving me from one to do list to another. Once I stopped, it was much harder to “go” again.

Case in point: this blog post has been half written in my head for two weeks, notes written on my phone going unused because I kept telling myself, “I’ll do it later.” I’ve done a lot of thinking about things that don’t get done.

I did make a to do list. It’s what I do after all. I’ve even crossed a few items off. There is no known due date for any of them, just a window of opportunity of unknown length. My tendency to procrastination remains so I’m still struggling. Still falling victim to the ease of non-action. But I’m getting better at listening for the nudges God gives me to do instead of just think. They seem like little things–taking the time to write, finishing a scrapbook, making fruit salad–but each one builds the momentum, stokes the fires, pushes me forward, blessing me with hope and encouragement.

I am slowly finding my own internal source of momentum. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

1Inertia: the resistance an object has to a change in its state of motion. Newton’s First Law: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Momentum: “Mass in motion” Thanks to for the science refresher.

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