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My (Initial) Disagreement with an Engineering Book

~By Sharon Czerwien

If you know me, you can rightfully state that my brain is not an engineering brain. Honestly, I cannot imagine how low I would score on an intelligence test. (Don’t worry about me. I don’t have a problem with self-esteem…whatever that means anyway. I am just practical and know my brain’s limits.)

Needless to say, I enjoy looking through some of my son’s engineering-type books (*as long as I do not have to build anything*).

Recently, I was looking at the book, Put Wheels and Axles to the Test, by Sally M. Walker and Roseann Feldmann.

Quite honestly, I was not planning on reading the whole book. I opened it up to a random page and saw a picture of children pushing against a big brick school wall. Beside the picture was a sentence that read something to the effect of: pushing on a building is not considered work. Even if sweat was involved, pushing on a building is not truly work.

I thought to myself, “What kind of nonsense is that!” I obviously disagreed with these authors.

Then, I decided to read the whole page, while I was a bit huffy. (Seriously.)

The authors explained that if there was no movement, then no work was involved. I then decided to read the book’s previous pages. Sure enough, the definition of work involved the use of force to move a particular object. [1]

I had obviously forgotten some basic science. I became intrigued by the book and got over my initial disagreement with the authors.

Where is the idea of work found in the Bible?

After reading the book, I pondered the uses of work in the Bible. Here are some of the uses I found:

1. Acts 13:1-3

In the church at Antioch, the Holy Spirit called for Saul and Barnabas to do the work of God. These men became great traveling missionaries!

2. 1 Corinthians 15:58

We are encouraged to be firm in our work for God. In fact, we are promised that our work for God is not in vain.

3. Hebrews 6:10

God will not forget our work for Him (and our labor of love).

4. Psalm 58:2

This is a negative example of work. People work wickedness from their hearts.

5. Psalm 8:3

King David proclaimed the work of God’s hands at creation.

6. Psalm 77:11-12

We can remember and reflect on God’s great work.

Let’s think back to the scientific definition of work…

In the scientific realm, movement is a necessity. Otherwise, work is not officially taking place.

Honestly, I am really thankful that the Bible does not play by the “same work rules” that I surely once learned in elementary science.

Yes, the Bible has much to say about work! Yet, there are times that we work, but God gives the results. Our work does not always cause the movement. God is the key mover and shaker in our world.

Here is one specific Bible example to explain my point:

In 1 Corinthians 3, the people in the church of Corinth had in-fighting about which “spiritual side” to take. A “spiritual” popularity contest was occurring, and the Apostle Paul was not havin’ it!

Paul proclaimed the following to these church members:

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:5-6, NKJV).

What’s the big takeaway?

We should humbly and lovingly work for God. We can serve him in a variety of capacities. We are told to work, yes, BUT we do not have to worry about the results! This is quite a relief.

We are not responsible for the results of our work! God takes care of the movement. He gives the increase in His timing.

We can do our best and then rest easy. God is in the details. He will move that old brick wall in His timing.

Work hard, yet relax regarding the details!



[1] Sally M. Walker and Roseann Feldmann, Put Wheels and Axles to the Test (Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 2012), 5-7.


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