Inertia vs. Initiative

In his book Understanding Physics Isaac Asimov said "This tendency for motion (or for rest) to maintain itself steadily unless made to do otherwise by some interfering force can be viewed as a kind of 'laziness,' a kind of unwillingness to make a change. And indeed, [Newton's] first law of motion is referred to as the principle of inertia, from a Latin word meaning 'idleness' or 'laziness.'"

This view of inertia is, to a large extent, defining of human nature. To do nothing, or at minimum, to do what has always been done. Is it possible to undertake significant accomplishments while doing little more than maintaining status quo? Dave Anderson, a writer and motivational speaker, suggests that you can only achieve your personal best when you do something different, out of the ordinary that challenges the norm.

As Christians, we should always strive to do our personal best. There should be a desire inside us to accomplish great things. God wants us to change the world.

But somewhere we have failed that mission. We wake up and begin our routine; juggling work, home, school, church, family and friends. We are compelled to work because we need the paycheck, we spend time with friends so they don't hate us, we feel obligated to go to church because that is what good Christians do. But if we go through life as if it is a to-do list, we have failed to see the big picture. Much like Peter, we end up sinking when we could be walking on water.

Our faith requires initiative. Wiktionary.org defines initiative as a first move, a fresh approach, the ability to act first or on one's one. Without this first move, this action, our faith is dead. We must step outside of the usual to truly accomplish what God wants to do in and through our lives.

Hebrews 11 gives us great examples of what can happen when we make changes to our routines and allow God to do extraordinary things. We build boats. We leave our homes, not necessarily knowing our destination. We leave a legacy. We worship God, bless and inspire others. We conquer and are spared. We see more than just the here and now.

God has great things planned for us but we still need to do our part. Life is supposed to be an uphill battle. It is through this difficulty that we are able to attain our greatest accomplishments, prove our faith is genuine, and ultimately how we give honor to God.

It is much easier to stand still. To do nothing. Coasting is uncomplicated because it is all downhill. The cost of not taking the initiative and breaking the standards is a great loss. We deny our savior and friend. We run away. We fall prey to our own selfish and sinful desires.

The first law of motion states Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight ahead, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed. Are you compelled to change?

We must put action to our faith and not be lazy. At the risk of losing comfort and complacency, do something different. Let God enact something amazing with your life.

(Originally posted on What's Inside on 8/17/06)

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