- Religion and Philosophy
Potential Vs. Kinetic Energy
Anything is Possible
For the most part, I have always believed that if you can imagine it in your mind, then you can perform it in real life. I thought that anything was possible if you wished for it enough. No one specifically told me to have this type of mindset. It was spending time with God that allowed me to have insight concerning the truth. The problem was that I never got past wishing for the impossible. And so the answer to whatever I was wishing for remained trapped inside my mind. As I grew in my relationship with God, I came to realize that action fueled the manifestation of my wishes.
In middle school, I was amazed to learn about how roller coasters operated. I was first taught about the difference between potential and kinetic energy. Potential energy can be examined when a roller coaster is sitting at the very top of the first hill. It's in such a position that potentially anything can happen. But that potential remains dormant unless kinetic energy is coupled with it. Kinetic energy enters the equation the very second the coaster is put into motion. The awe-inspiring part of a roller coaster is the fact that the potential energy stored at the top of the first hill combined with the kinetic energy carries the roller coaster throughout the entire rest of the ride. There is no more need for potential energy unless there is another higher ramp located within the ride. Because most people don't want the ride to end, the creators of roller coasters put in another hill so that the potential and kinetic energy may meet again and provide for an even more interesting ride. In the same way, there are many points in our life where God will want us to rest and envision the amount of potential that is in store for us. He also wants us to see the potential in ourselves that He sees in us. This idea is vividly portrayed throughout the story of Gideon (Judges 6).
The Potential Inside Our Minds
Sometimes I like to think that I can live completely in a realm of potential- where everything looks good from my standpoint because I've dreamt it all up but where nothing actually happens. I love to imagine and create potential within my mind. But if I stay there, I'm only stuck at the top of a roller coaster, waiting for the ride to start and panicking that the ride might shut down while I'm still up there because it's been inactive for such a long period of time.
There were many things in my life that I wanted to see changed. The problem used to lie in the fact that my thoughts would never become actions. When I talked to God, I would feel as though anything could happen. But when it came to reality, I rarely took any actions that would further propel me into fulfilling my dreams. It wasn't until I found out that God was the one placing those dreams in my heart that the thoughts that lay dormant in my mind became active. This is what gave me the confidence to begin fulfilling the dreams that were too big for me to accomplish on my own. I knew that if the God of this universe placed so many dreams within me, He wouldn't let me fail at achieving them. Just as with the roller coaster, if there is no vision (potential energy) backing up your journey, then there is no place for your journey to begin. The kinetic energy (or action) is what sets the vision in motion. Imagination is important in bringing forth the kingdom of God. Both the motivation for a project and the project itself are equally important, because, "... faith without deeds is dead" (James 2:26). At no place in your journey are you ever alone, if you have Christ. When you're just beginning a new journey, you can ask God to help you with seeing new potential and envisioning where He wants this road to take you. When you feel like you need to let go and just "go along for the ride," there is still an active decision that needs to be made as far as clinging to Christ and His promises. At each part of the road, it involves you and Him, Him and you!
My Own Experience
The biggest dream that I had when I was young was to become more outgoing. Because of His love and His help, most people that meet me now can't even imagine me as being shy. I was paralyzed by the fear of being free to be myself, even though it was a deep desire of my heart. I was so crippled by my thoughts that instead of being hidden from others by remaining silent in school, this was exactly the reason why everyone would point me out. I had no confidence in myself and it wasn't until much later that I learned that I have an identity in Christ and that I can trust in who He is and not who I am in the flesh. Anyway, I would talk to God and thank Him for making me the way that He did, but simultaneously I would ask Him why He made me like this. I didn't feel like I had a choice in the matter of how I acted around others. While I was praying, I would imagine how easy it is to go up to someone and just start a conversation with them. Each day I thought, today I will become outgoing. My actions proved to be unfruitful though as my actions were non- existent. It was a real fear of mine to even go up to others and say, "Hi."
When I came to a church that taught that God speaks to you every day, my world changed. I came to realize that God was the one encouraging me to get outside of myself and talk to others. He allowed me to be myself the entire time and He was the one inspiring me to think on whatever is noble, whatever is praiseworthy... (Philippians 4:8). I had disregarded those encouraging thoughts as "just random thoughts." However, looking back, I found out that each time I had those thoughts, I was spending time with God and being mindful of Him. He helped me turn my potential into action and He can and will help you to do the same. When you have a crazy impossible dream on the inside of you, look for the subtle voice of God that seems to become louder as you listen to Him. And don't ever think that your dream is too ridiculous. Look at mine- essentially my dream was to talk to others and to be myself- something that seems to come naturally for others. But this was a big deal for me and God wanted this dream to come to pass for me. He cares about what you care about. But He cares too much to let you own that care (1 Peter 5:7). You can become closer to Him by reading His word and spending time talking to Him. It's a promise- HIS promise- that if you seek Him with all of your heart, you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).