· Scouting

The problem with inertia


By Steven Scheid


While there are advantages of inertia there are accompanying problems.


When something is at rest, it tends to stay that way. In physics inertia is described as "a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force."


Once the path is set ––whether stopped or moving in a straight line––change is hard.


Are you done resting?


As we get older, we slow down. It is expected (but not required).


While we may have different needs, stopping is a hazard.


The pandemic brought the world to a halt. While a bit of rest was good, it will take energy to get moving again. Can we get past our tendency to stay in one place?


We might also be in a straight-line rut.


"Stay in your lane" –– it fits the highway but not the ministry of God.


The go-into-all-the-world call means we cannot continue in an unaffected straight-line direction.


We must be willing to be acted upon by an external force.


Yes, resistance is normal. Resistance was the reason Peter was called out by Christ in the garden. The path of Christ was not the straight-line lane that Peter imagined.


Yes, change may be coming to our church structure, Scouting, or ministry opportunities.


Change may bring new people to the table, and change may result from something we could never have imagined.


Change will come with or without us.


If we are to truly heed the call of Christ, we must be willing to combat straight-line or at-rest inertia. It is time for us to allow God to be the external force needed to get us to move again or to change directions.


Steven Scheid, director of the Center for Scouting Ministry

General Commission on UM Men



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