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Thoughts from my House Church: November 10, 2009

November 21, 2009

[Written November 10, 2009]

Tonight, at House Church, Lori brought up the idea of potential energy. She said that she looked at my life right now and saw it just bursting and straining with potential energy. Our whole group began discussing the differences between potential and kinetic energy, like any of us really had any clue what we were talking about. None of us are physicists yet we looked at each other with quizzical looks as if to say, “Are you SURE that’s what it means?” None of us really know but we venture a guess anyway, which is mostly what counts.

I said that potential energy is the energy that lives in tension and immediately, that clicked something inside my head. I grabbed scrap paper and scribbled it down, bouncing it mentally from hand to hand, like playing “Hot Potato, Hot Potato.” Like when you pull back a slingshot, the potential energy is sewn into the threads of the strap in which the stone is being stretched. In that fabric, in that material, that is where potential energy lives. How much does that also apply to people. When we are stretched, when we find ourselves immersed and flailing around in the tensions in our lives, that is when we find our potential energy. We have such tremendous opportunity to utilize that potential energy, to direct it into something that will produce kinetic energy, or motion. Each day, in every action, between the choice of doing and not doing, saying or not saying, stepping or not stepping, risking or not risking – it is a choice between potential and kinetic. We can gather our potential energy and turn into something that moves and changes us. Or we can let it gather until, eventually and inevitably, it explodes in some ridiculous way that wastes all that potential.

Where am I holding potential energy?

I think when I start writing and feel like each word is a tiny extension of myself, yet not, stretched out onto the keyboard, taunt and tense and wriggling and alive – I believe that is my answer.

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