Thursday, September 06, 2007

Theology of Space -- Third Law of Thermodynamics

Jean made me giggle with her reference to the Third Law of Theromdynamics.

From Wikipedia:
The third law of thermodynamics is an axiom of nature regarding entropy and the impossibility of reaching absolute zero of temperature. The most common enunciation of third law of thermodynamics is: “As a system approaches absolute zero of temperature, all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value."

In other words, the more heat you add to a system, the more chaos and entropy there is in that system.

I giggle because I named my kids Chaos and Entropy. Hehehe.

It's amazing that so many of these Laws of Physics can translate to "real life" so easily. The more heat (action) there is at the house, the more chaos there is. The more heat (anger) I add to a relationship, there is a definite decline of order (relationship).

I think it's true of your physical space as well -- the more you are in emotional upheaval/overload the more chaotic you space becomes. It almost has to. Likewise the inverse: the more chaos in your physical space, the more overload you feel.

I like the image of "painting the bridge." I forget who told me, but my husband and I have latched onto that image. It takes a crew of people a year to paint the Golden Gate bridge from one end to the other -- and the paint lasts about a year. By the time you finish, it's time to start over again. The tasks that are tedious and never-ending never really go away. There is always dirty dishes and laundry to be done. There is always somewhere that is not exactly vacuumed or dusted as you would like. It's just painting the bridge. There is always somewhere that is heading into full entropy -- our task is not to bemoan the entropy but to just plug away at it.

Or even better, to find God within these small and mundane jobs. God is a God of everyday things. There is God to be found within purging, picking up, cleaning and beautifying. God is a God who takes chaos and creates order. I participate with God when I paint the bridge. And it should be an honor to do so -- but instead I complain.... And this is indeed human nature.

I had other things to say about chaos and entropy -- primarily that there are times that chaos looks to us to be just that, yet there is order fractally embedded within the chaos. Order that to the bare eye and without perspective looks indistinguishable. But it is there. But that will be for another day. I need to go do the dishes.

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