The Science I Thought I Couldn’t Teach

It’s a Friday and my assignment is a class of 9 five-year-olds.  Our mission:  Memorize Newton’s First Law of Motion,

“An object at rest tends to remain at rest,
an object in motion tends to continue moving in a straight line at constant speed,

unless an outside force acts upon it.”


It’s a lot for them.  They won’t truly memorize it this year, but at 5 years old it’s about exposure.  As they grow, we will return to this law and watch it get bigger in depth and meaning.  But really, any child who knows the song, “On Top of Spaghetti,” unconsciously knows this Law of Motion.  That meatball sits pretty atop its pile of pasta until a sneeze makes it roll.  It then continues to roll until something stops it.

Coaching these wiggly worms in memorizing this “dry fact” of Science while singing a song, I suddenly see something they don’t.  I pause the song and say,

“Kids, this is about our hearts!  My heart, and yours need God to change it!”

To myself I realize, “We think we’re learning about meatballs sneezed off center, soccer balls kicked into flight, and satellites floating endlessly in space, but all of these things point to more.  This law is not only about physical matter.  It’s the law that my heart will not move, or be still, without an outside force, sometimes gentle, sometimes not so, stirring me to do or not do, think or not think, love or not love.”

Stuck in Leaves

My little ones are unaware of, and unimpressed by, the explosion of light that’s just entered my eyes.  It’s no joke that the teacher often learns more than the students.  Is that a law too?  I’m standing in a divine moment, worshipping overjoyed to be teaching this deep science I never thought I was interested in.

And I love the law for simply stating what is.  It tells me what I am and what I do and points me to that outside force that I see, over decades of progressive understanding, is a loving and unfailing force.  I pray silent for my little ones anxious for snack time,

“May the “Force” be with you, and may He move strong in your hearts.”

It’s ok that they don’t get it.  This law we give the man Newton credit for does not need to be understood to be true.  I am confident in this:  that in kindness and love, He moves lifeless hearts stuck in an unseen state of inertia.  And I hope as these children grow, the highlight of education in any subject is the sheer joy of seeing the law and love that works on our behalf.


And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, . . . 
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ 

Ephesians 2:1, 4-5a

For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

Titus 3:3-4

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Romans 2:4