///// An IronMen Moment /////
(Designed to be passed along to men and young men in your life.)
Physics in me, physics in thee.
Picture this video clip:
The scene opens with laughter in the background in an outdoor, semi-urban scene with a hill of grassy dirt piled high next to a house and garage. The flat-topped garage is next door to this apparently undeveloped, abandoned lot. And on a nearby identical hill sits a helmeted youth on a motocross bicycle.
More excited chatter, some of it nervous laughter. Someone shouts, "Go!"
And the bicycle rider races down one slope, peddling his legs in a blur, climbs up the opposing hill, and launches himself into the air toward the garage rooftop. It feels like the scene is filmed in slow-motion, but it's all live. During the flight across the expanse you hear a gasp of shock, also recorded on the clip, as onlookers begin to figure out the velocity needed for the jump was vastly miscalculated. Several yards short of the edge of the garage, the poor youth descends in slow free-fall, watching the ground come rushing up to meet him.
He lands with a thud. The bike bounces around in wild fits of randomly bent rims and a twisted frame. The biker doesn't move. Laughter turns to screams and the camera abruptly stops.
Maybe you've seen something like this on occasion. The last versions of this I witnessed was from a collection of "Massive Fails" for youth attempting jumps of various kinds. Using bikes. Jet skis. Motorcycles.
A valid worry of parents over the last two decades is that children who spend a significant amount of time using digital gaming media, or watch an abundance of film fiction -- be it fantasy, action-adventure, or realistic live-action drama -- face a particular RISK.
Common risks to media overuse are often listed as:
• The eating-away of hours of ones' life. Given that we sleep a third of it away already, that can be big chunk of available time in one's day.
• Another concern is learning patterns of violence, including desensitizing them to harming others.
• Missing out on God's creation is another concern,
• along with becoming dulled to human social skills, or failing to learn them at all; the intelligence quotient (IQ) may be high, but the accompanying Emotional Quotient (EQ) is not.
Most people are aware of these.
The one I'll focus on here could almost be called the un-learning of physics. Or, another way to put it: lack of learning about the truths of physics.
Much like Biblical illiteracy puts the people of God at-risk in their lives for not knowing the truth about how life works, science illiteracy also puts kids at-risk of knowing how life works in the real world.
The critique from those watching this trend among youth has been that we see increasing numbers of events where a youth will do something and completely ignore what most everyone else takes for granted. Like gravity.
We have to admit that some of the video-recorded accounts may, in fact, be contrived. And even purposefully performed for the laugh-factor. But the law of averages would tell us that some of these are the real-deal. The pervasive complaint by parents seems to add an *edgy seriousness* to these reports. Afterall, parents are the ones paying for the dental work, plaster casts, physical therapy, or youth-sized coffins. Not to mention the emotional price-tag in grief.
The complaint is that these kids perform as if their concept of gravity came from the Power Rangers, or Wiley Coyote. Where *consequences matching reality* are not in-play.
The results of ignoring laws of gravity can be rather severe. In an increasing rate of decent -- at 9.8 meters per second per second -- it is one aspect of physics that people ought to get right! For the sake of their longevity and survival.
These are effects of the earth pulling us back down to itself. As it turns out, there is a parallel to the spiritual world.
We live in a society that is eager to claim that they do not need to be saved. It is part of what is entailed by the descriptor of "pagan," that the US no longer shares a Judeo-Christian worldview, but a pagan one. Having rejected Him, God has "given them over" to their own choices (Romans ch.1).
Many in the world claim that whatever infractions they may have committed against an *alleged* god residing in a *supposed* heaven can be dealt with out-of-hand by their creative accounting: they deny the law-in-place, and proceed as if their version of truth were accurate.
Sadly, like that poor kid who did the face-plant at the other end of the bike launch, re-branding the method of salvation does not change reality. Or, if not re-branding, then perhaps we ignore a law so deeply instilled in us as to be considered "hard-wiring" -- He has "set eternity in their hearts"... (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
It is a pitch-black cul-de-sac.
So, as fathers to our wonderful children, with a mission to protect them: we can ensure they discern the physical laws of God's world.
For the unsaved, we can share the truism that faith is only as good as its object (what it targets for trust). Believing -- and sincerely believing -- that a chair made of paper will hold our weight does not make it true. A simple test will prove it out.
I have met many people whose faith was stronger than mine. It was easy to see that by how they acted. Their sincerity was high. But that's just it, we can be sincere, yet sincerely wrong.
For our young IronMen, then, we make ourselves..."ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15, nas).