Saturday, December 18, 2004

You know you suddenly are left with a whole bunch more time on your hands than usual when you sit around contemplating the spiritual significance of an egg breaking. That's what I've been doing this morning (well, partly). Let me explain.

First semester is over, all the finals are done, and I've been sitting here, thinking about blogging and what final thoughts I might have on this semester. Then I got to thinking about one of the projects we had in 3D Design class this semester. The teacher called it the Egg Drop Project, which was an unfortunate name in my book because every time he'd say the words "egg drop" I'd start thinking about Chinese food. The fact that the class ended at noon didn't help matters any.

Anyway, the project was to build a structure out of only toothpicks and glue around an egg, which would keep the egg from breaking when dropped from about a 15' balcony outside our classroom. I had no idea what to do, having no experience with physics whatsoever. (I just checked my archives, and no, I haven't told you about this one yet. I'll post photos of what I built on my fotopage at some point.) The only thing that I really "knew" about eggs and how they function is that the ends are the strongest part of the shell and can withstand much more impact than the sides of the egg. So I made sure my egg was oriented vertically, and then just winged it from there.

That's where the spiritual parallels start. I got to thinking this morning about those projects that successfully kept the egg from breaking, and those that didn't (mine didn't). My structure was beautiful--colorful (I was the only one who used colored toothpicks), fancy (I also used a few of those frilled cocktail toothpicks in a vain attempt to maximize wind resistance), and oh-so-solid. There was nothing that was gonna break this structure! That was the problem. When I dropped my egg off the balcony, the structure remained intact; however, the egg, which was tightly encased in the structure so that it could not move, managed to move--it pretty much just shredded through the support sticks. The projects that were more successful used various methods of "shock absorbers"--parts that were designed to break away upon impact and cushion the fall of the egg so that it didn't break. These projects were, for the most part, not as "pretty" as mine, not colorful, but highly effective in doing what they were designed to do.

Some of you are maybe starting to get the idea. As I thought about the structures for protecting the eggs, I got to thinking about the "structures" for protecting us as Christians--the Church. My problem in building my egg structure was that I didn't allow for "grace". I was so focussed on building a sturdy, lasting, "beautiful" structure that I lost focus on the real center of the project--protecting the egg. And that's what happens so often in the church--we try to structure ourselves into eternity, making sure that the system survives and is lovely and attractive to people. And we succeed in having beautiful buildings, theologies, doctrines, or whatever--but we forget about the people who need to be protected by whatever structures that are set up. Without grace, the structure may survive, but the people will perish. None of us is truly able to stand up against the hard "sticks" of unwavering doctrines such as "if you commit (fill in the blank), you can have no place in the Kingdom of God!". That's why God sent Jesus--to fullfill the Law; to be the egg dropping in our place, if you will, so that we could access the grace that comes from having a Father so loving that He was willing for part of the Structure to be broken in order that the "egg" might survive.

posted by #Debi at 10:37 AM | permalink | 0 comments


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Hi, I'm Debi. Once in a while I have a thought and I like to write it down before it goes away. This is where I write it.

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