Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

July 21, 2010

The Fulcrum

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Tired of the pesky armadillos, I decided to trap them and enter them into a relocation program.  Knowing their size, I realized that I would need a large trap.  I went online and saw several–but I am not about to make that investment in armadillos!

It may sound like days of yesteryear,  but I decided to just make a large rabbit trap!  I fixed my mind on big Texas jackrabbits, not on those little rabbits from my boyhood.  I had made rabbit traps as a boy, and I laid out the plans in my head.  I would simply expand the dimension by about five times.

As I would not buy a trap, I would not purchase supplies.  I had enough scraps and odds and ends in the garage to make it.  It was not for public showing or to demonstrate any carpentry skills I might have.  I did secure from my son a wire grate that had been on an old door.  From there I proceeded to pull out all sorts of scraps.  Then I began my project.

I was rather pleased with the result to the point of creating the trap with the door heavy enough to make sure the varmint couldn’t escape.  I realized that this door was several times heavier than what I would have used in a rabbit trap.  Thus, I would need a larger and heavier lever and fulcrum than usual.

As a boy, I simply used a few well-trimmed tree branches, and the trap action was set.  This armadillo trap required a little more.  The lever and fulcrum needed to be just right!  Now I was using words that were not common to my vocabulary.  Those were words straight from a physics class.  Suddenly, I realized I was using physics as a boy when I didn’t even know the word physics.  It is the lever and fulcrum action that accomplishes things beyond ordinary strength.

Imagine the trap.  The armadillo walks in through the raised door.  He moves to the far end of the trap for the bait.  He hits a stick hanging from the top which dislodges and allows that end of the lever (running above the trap from this point to a point above the door) to go up in order that the door can go down!  But to make this action possible, there must be a fulcrum point.  That is a board or rod on top that serves as a pivoting point.

Think of a seesaw.  The middle of the board rests on the fulcrum point.  In that instance, the fulcrum point is center.  But you can place the point at various places when trying to move an object with a lever.  It does not have to be in the center. It is the fulcrum that allows the lever to be longer on one end in order to move a heavy object.  So with my trap, I needed to find the point where the stick hanging in the trap would balance against the weight of the door.  Confusing, I know, but I will make a point.

After some “trial and error” and not using a physics formula or slide rule, I found the point.  The trap works perfectly!  Well, I cannot say perfectly, because nothing I could make would be perfect.

Let me share some definitions and expressions used for fulcrum: ” . . . something that supports or sustains;”   ” . . . a point of balance;”    ” . . . a pivoting point.”  Do these words bring something to mind?  They did to me!  Much more important than this principle in physics is the teaching that life must have a fulcrum point . . . and it must be God!  I am still amazed what the Lord teaches me through some everyday projects!

Archimedes, who lived 200 years before Christ, was the leading Greek scientist of his day.  His principles in math, physics, and astronomy are foundational for us today.  He taught the principle of the lever and fulcrum.  He said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to rest it, and I can move the world.”

I could never debate such a man, but I would have one thing to say, “Mr. Archimedes, no matter the length of the lever, you cannot move the world without the proper fulcrum!”  That is true.  And the world cannot be moved or changed without the True Fulcrum — the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, the Almighty God!

My life must have a fulcrum point if it is to be in balance.  My life lived in such a world needs a point of pivot to maintain a purpose.  With God as my Fulcrum, life has purpose and satisfaction.  Without God . . . meaninglessness and hopelessness.  No matter the length or strength of my lever (my life), it can accomplish nothing, experience no purpose, find no balance, or have any control unless my lever (my life) is pivoted on the Fulcrum of the world —  my Father God.  But with Him as my fulcrum point, oh, is life wonderful!

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with your presence.”  (Psalm 16:11)   ” . . . The Lord is the stronghold of my life . . . .”  (Psalm 27:1) 




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