Anyway, she mentioned that an object in orbit is technically in a perpetual state of falling. It would hit the surface of the item it is orbiting around, but that item is also moving. So it keeps falling and falling. I had heard this before, but I had filed under the category of "Unimportant Mind Clutter" - you know, like old locker combinations, old phone numbers, and the location of my Social Security card. And where I was going with this. Oh yeah...
So an object in orbit is continually falling. For it to stop this process, it has to speed up and escape the pull to move away or slow down and crash into the surface. Pretty interesting, for a science concept. But, of course, my mind starting running and I thought that this actually is a great picture of a very biblical teaching. In Luke 9:23, we are told to daily pick up our cross and follow Christ. It is like we have to die every day to sin, to the world, to the pull of other things. We must be willing to crucify ourselves, give up control of our own lives, and put our faith and trust in God.
It similar to being in orbit. It is like we must daily keep ourselves falling - trusting in God and His wisdom, love, and direction. I am learning that the Christian walk is a balance. You want to find the place where you are continually in this "orbit" around the "Son" - (yeah, I went there). If we give ourselves too much power, we break orbit and go flying off on our own. This usually gets us lost and into trouble. If we lose focus, and stop applying ourselves, we crash due to depression or doubt or sin.
Pretty interesting? I thought it was. I can easily see this in myself - especially now. As things are rough, it is easy to lose that orbit. Over the past few months, I have found myself crashing in a wreck of self pity or anger more times that I want to admit. I get so disillusioned by what is going on and just slam to the ground. Or, I find myself saying, "FINE! I'll do it myself then." And I gun the engines and go shooting off into empty space. I have no idea where I'm going or what I'm going to do when I get there.
Fortunately, God is big enough to pull us back in and pick us up and help us get back on track. And then we can get back into orbit. Another neat tie in to this is how the moon is in orbit around earth (and therefore, also technically around the sun). It has no light of its own, only what it reflects from the sun. You could think about how we are supposed to be reflecting the light of the Son to the lost and dark world - like the moon. But we can only do that when we are in the right place in orbit. Best physics lesson I ever had.