Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his (God’s) workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” I posed this consideration to my students last week as I will share it with you now: What great comfort is there in this verse, and what a great calling!
What does it take for us to have life and breath every day — oxygen, water, food, the simultaneous functioning of organs, ligaments, and joints? Take it a step farther. Have you ever considered how many cells make up your body and how your daily routines depend on each of these cells functioning properly?
According to an article by National Geographic, the adult human is estimated to contain about 37.2 trillion cells.5 That’s enough to wrap the world in stacked one dollar bills over 100 times!3 Furthermore, each cell is teaming with dozens of functions and tasks. Check out THIS AMAZING VIDEO created by Harvard and XVIVO to see how intricate cells in your body can really be.4 It’s easy to forget just how much of a miracle getting to live each day really is. When you stop and ponder, suddenly the ordinary becomes the extraordinary. The common becomes the magnificent.
Last month in science we are examining the lives of various African American scientists and some of their remarkable accomplishments. Our first scientist of the month was George Washington Carver, a name familiar to most. “He’s the one that did all the peanut experiments,” is a typical response you may hear. Yes, he is the one that did the peanut experiments, but he is also a gentleman that set his mind to making a positive difference in the world using something as ordinary as a peanut and in the face of great personal tragedy and dehumanizing stereotypes.1 He took something ordinary and made it extraordinary through hard work, humility, faithfulness, and one of my favorite traits … grit.
A few weeks ago in physics we studied sound and waves. We conducted an experiment to measure the speed of sound, and we talked about the mechanics of standing waves and instruments. Then, we looked at how applying these simple concepts to ideas like building safer infrastructure can have a huge impact on a community. As we were studying these ideas the earthquake in Syria and Turkey hit and took the lives of more than 50,000 individuals, largely due to collapsed buildings.2 Waves, sound, resonance … simple, common concepts with far reaching applications. Maybe one of our students will go on some day to apply principles of engineering and physics to make more affordable, safer buildings.
This past week we investigated impulse and momentum in physics class. My students made drop boxes that were designed to protect a raw egg and put their ideas to the test as we dropped them off the rooftop of the third story of the school. We had some successes and some egg guts on the sidewalk. It was fun, but it was also important. There is not a car, knee pad, or shoe that has been made without ideas of impulse and momentum behind them. Sometimes the ideas that seem the simplest are actually the ones that become the most important in the end.
One of the greatest joys in teaching is getting to see students, like Dakota Hitzemann, move beyond the classroom and embrace their skills and studies to bless those around them.
Last year in physics class, Dakota regularly displayed his enthusiasm for science and his desire to serve with each ordinary, common day he spent in the classroom. This year he is wrapping up his time in high school while simultaneously interning at L3Harris, a company that works in satellite security.
Seeing his enthusiasm and energy to learn and make a difference in the world through science is inspiring and humbling.
I don’t know what my students will accomplish in the future, but I know that whether their jobs are ordinary and commonplace or high-profile, prestigious positions, they are God’s workmanship and were created with unique gifts and abilities to do good in this world.
So, as you go about the common and ordinary happenings of this week, I’d ask you to join me in praying for our students. Pray that they may recognize the wonderful mercy, provision, and love of their Savior in the ordinary things of each day, and, thereby, might live in humility, love, and obedience, accomplishing many extraordinary tasks in this difficult world to the glory of God our Savior. Thank you and God’s Peace!
Miss Heidi Wilkinson,
- PBS LearningMedia, American Icons, 12 Jan. 2021, https://indiana.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/americon-vid-george-w-carver/ Accessed 26 Feb. 2023.
- “Earthquake Death Toll Surpasses 50,000 in Turkey and Syria.” 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2023-02-24/earthquake-death-toll-surpasses-50-000-in-turkey-and-syria.
- Toscano, Paul. “What Does $1 Trillion Look like?” CNBC, CNBC, 5 Aug. 2010, https://www.cnbc.com/2009/04/08/What-Does-$1-Trillion-Look-Like.html.
- XVIVO Scientific Animation, 22 Feb. 2023, https://xvivo.com/examples/the-inner-life-of-the-cell/. Accessed 26 Feb. 2023.
- Zimmer, Carl. “How Many Cells Are in Your Body?” Science, National Geographic, 3 May 2021, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/how-many-cells-are-in-your-body.