Tag Archives: science

Lockdown Day 12 Passing Understanding

Yesterday I noticed something strange on the patio under our gazebo.

Being the curious scientist that I am, I wanted to know what it was and how it had appeared in such an unlikely place. My first thought was that the grandchildren had emptied squigies, those water absorbing gel beads on the patio, but nobody in the family knew anything about it. On closer inspection, it didn’t have any signs of spheres which I would have expected if that was the explanation. Google was not all that much help either. Although I found several comparable images, most related to sightings of the stuff and other people asking what it was. Apparently such globs of goo suddenly appearing on the ground but usually on grass, have been recorded since the 14th Century. Folk lore accredits them to comets passing close to earth and the general name of star Jelly was adopted.

Scientific explanations have ranged from water-retaining gels added to soil to frog spawn, especially when the frog had been eaten by a predator and the ovaries ripped out and either left by the predator or regurgitated up by the predator after the gelatinous substance had swelled in their stomach. There might be different types of star jelly caused by different natural phenomena like slime moulds. I have scooped up some and put it in a bottle to see what happens – whether anything hatches or whether it just dries up. The stuff has no smell and I wasn’t sufficiently curious to taste it. Suffice to say, I have to accept that some things are beyond my understanding.

That, of course, reminds me of a bible verse, one of my favourites.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil4:7 KJV)

I don’t understand this peace that Christ offers. It can’t be explained by science, psychology or the world. Luckily I don’t have to understand it to appropriate it just as I don’t have to understand electricity to use my microwave.

Dear Lord, please give me this peace that passes understanding and may I share it with those you bring across my path Amen.

Lockdown Day 8 Foil Boats

It had been raining all morning and we decided to make foil boats and sail them on puddles for our Granny Science activity.

The plan was to investigate different sizes and placement of sails but we never really got that far. Our big puddle had dried up by the afternoon so the kids had tremendous fun filling it up again with buckets while wearing their roller blades. Eventually they got it big enough to sail boats on.

Naturally, the wind didn’t co-operate and the boats sailed wherever they pleased. It reminded me of the verse that says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for he grants sleep to those he loves.”(Psalm 127 : 1-2 (NIV)

We think we are in control. But we’re not. The farmer can plant seeds, but unless God sends rain, nothing will grow. Boat-builders can build beautiful sailing vessels, but unless God sends wind, they are useless. Without the physical laws God put in place at the foundation of the universe, nothing would work.

At this time of lockdown, one of our many anxieties is the fact that we feel helpless. Things are out of control, we have no idea what the future holds. The fact is, we have always been helpless. The control we thought we had over events and plans is only grace that God has given us, to work together with Him.

It is comforting to know that even though we don’t know what the future holds, we can know the God who holds the future. Because He Lives.