October 26, 2017 | The REAL Force

“Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding 
and the same conviction.”
[1 Corinthians 1:10 HCSB]
The real force
Why do divisions occur in churches? Because we lose sight of “in Jesus’ name.” We stop thinking and acting according to the Lord’s ethos and commands. In physical science terms, we fight against our real force.
Have you ever ridden a roller-coaster or spinning ride? Did you feel that outward “push” when you rounded a corner or spun? That is what physicists call centrifugal force (Latin for “center fleeing”). But it’s not really a force. Seriously. It is merely a feeling, while another force we don’t usually sense is actually at work.
Centrifugal “force” not really a force; it results from inertia – the tendency of an object to resist any change in its state of rest or motion. Centripetal force is a realforce that counteracts the centrifugal force and prevents the object from “flying out,” keeping it moving instead with a uniform speed along a circular path.
Jesus is our centripetal force. When we forget Him, we panic because of what we “feel” – the center fleeing. But our real force – in theology as in physics – keeps us moving together on the path.
That’s what our American forebears tried to capture on a national scale in the country’s motto: e pluribus unum. “Out of many, one.”
It’s also what John Donne was experiencing in his Holy Sonnet #14. The great Christian poet recognized that his sight must get off of self and onto Jesus if he is to survive the centrifugal pull of life. He must be humbled so he can enjoy the centripetal force of Jesus.
Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
-John Donne, Holy Sonnets (Westmoreland Manuscript #14)