Mar 27, 2010

O Murphy

I never had a slice of bread,
Particularly large and wide,
That did not fall upon the floor,
And always on the buttered side.

Of course if the butter is heavy, this could be explained by physics... something about the center of gravity and the center of resistance. But most people attribute it to Murphy's Law: "If anything can go wrong, it will".

There really was a Murphy, though this isn't exactly what he said. Edward Aloysius Murphy, Jr. was an aerospace engineer who worked on high-speed rocket sled experiments.  Prior to sending men into very fast jets, the United States Air Force conducted experiments to determine how much gravitational force their pilots could handle. During the MX981 experiments, one of Murphy's technicians incorrectly wired a strap transducer. After the transducer malfunctioned, Murphy blamed his technician who installed it, "If there is a wrong way to do it, he will". Over time this was adjusted and rephrased and attributed to Murphy.

Corollaries of Murphy's Law abound.  "Everything takes longer than you think". "If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong". "Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse". My favorite is, "It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious".

"Every solution breeds new problems" is also a form of Murphy's Law, but I place this under the category of Unintended Consequences.

I don't know why people are so surprised by Murphy's Law. It's not as if we weren't warned. This law is simply a manifestation of original sin cursed upon mankind after The Fall.  God never said life would be easy. In fact, He stated just the opposite. Nature just doesn' randomly give us more bad outcomes than good. Sin is at work in this world, and God' Holy Spirit is at work within us to fight against it.

In fact Christians know that Murphy' Law helps point us to the need of a Savior. Because if everything in life went as planned, we probably wouldn' seek Him.  But life never goes as planned. Bread falls out of our hands and most of the time, it creates quite a mess.  But Jesus came to this earth to save us from Murphy' Law. Not that bad things won' happen, but that He can take bad things and work miracles through them.  And some day we will live with Him in a place where Murphy' Law is banished forever.

Blessings,
Pastor David Hook