Recently, my middle school science classroom was privileged to have guest speakers from the Boeing Company. A group of engineers from Boeing, named MECA (Making Engineering Cool Again), presented a lesson on the forces of flight, with hands-on activities to learn about these forces. Each year, they do a better job than the previous years. Even now, my students are referring to this experience. Their interest in engineering has been “tickled,” and some will never forget the excitement of that day.
With Christmas break (which arrived one day early, thanks to the snow!) here, naturally, I am thinking about school! After all, that is what good teachers do…ponder how to “hook” students on learning. I was also thinking about life…family (I am blessed to be one of a large extended family, one with a continual “newsletter” that has continued in some form for over sixty year)…the arrivals (a new grandson, born six weeks early, home, growing, thriving)….the departures (my sister, who will celebrate this Christmas with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ)…friends (each with struggles of their own)…my life and progress towards my own, eternal goals. Suddenly, the forces of flight aligned with the forces acting in my life.
So, for a brief science lesson:
There are four forces acting upon an aircraft. These are defined as:
- Weight is the force of gravity. It acts in a downward direction—toward the center of the Earth.
- Lift is the force that acts at a right angle to the direction of motion through the air. Lift is created by differences in air pressure.
- Thrust is the force that propels a flying machine in the direction of motion. Engines produce thrust.
- Drag is the force that acts opposite to the direction of motion. Drag is caused by friction and differences in air pressure.
(If you want to learn more about flight, go here.) If you know enough now, keep reading. I just have to keep my teacher hat on while writing!
There are also four forces acting upon me in life.
1. Weight: I am a spiritual being experiencing a mortal life in a fallen world. I am removed from the presence of my Father, buffeted by the Enemy in any way possible.
2. Lift: I can always lift my eyes to my Father. He doesn’t sleep, go on vacations, or get too busy to hear me. He has promised to always hear my pleas for deliverance, help, succor, peace.
3. Thrust: I am in control of the throttle. I must press forward with the goal in mind, eternal life. All I will take with me when I depart this life is what I have learned, with the record of that learning (good and bad) being recorded in the heavens on media that will not crash, burn, or fade.
4. Drag: The things in my life that cause “friction,” my sins, my earthly “gods,” my actions contrary to His will.
As I pondered these things, four scriptures came to mind, with a picture of an airplane. In my mind, I saw my thoughts portrayed.
How is your “airplane” flying?