*overabundance of metaphors ahead. you have been warned.*
To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Work (wûrk) n.
Physics: The transfer of energy from one physical system to another, especially the transfer of energy to a body by the application of a force that moves the body in the direction of the force. It is calculated as the product of the force and the distance through which the body moves and is expressed in joules, ergs, and foot-pounds.
I wasn’t a very attentive student in my high school freshman physics class. I wrote really crappy poetry in my notebook and named the children I thought I would one day have with a boy I had a crush on (even though I’d probably spoken 3 sentences to him). But I enjoyed the subject, and even though my college major and life as a grown-up have very little formula-working involved, a few things actually stuck with me. My favorite is work.
Basically, in order to do work on an object, the force you put into it has to result in the object moving some type of distance. So if I push a brick wall with all my strength for hours and hours, but the wall never moves, scientifically I did no work. Work = Force * Distance, so if the distance is zero, the work is zero.
I love that, because it’s such a perfect description of life as a Christian. I try so hard to change my behavior and then realize nothing has really happened; I’ve fallen right back into the same things. I come up with different strategies for what to say or do to people to make them be who I want them to be, but it’s all useless. I try to speak in the tongues of angels but all I hear is a clanging cymbal. I try to move mountains, but they stay still. I exert force but no work is done.
And that happens because I’m struggling with the wrong energy. It is God, not I who has power. I am a golf club – with no energy of my own, but in capable hands I can be used to send a ball a great distance.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Today, I choose to delight in my weakness.