Thursday, October 09, 2008

turbulent flow

did you ever wonder why sometimes when you turn on the tap, the water gushes out and sometimes, it flows smoothly?

in physics, when the water flow is smooth, it's called laminar flow. when it gushes out in all directions, it's called turbulent flow. i have to thank tatay (oca) for introducing me to the world of turbulent flow. the first time i heard it, he was speaking about his mentor, dr. amador muriel. he's a physicist who is developing a "novel" way of studying turbulent flow.

i was very excited when i heard about it while on our way to the Singles for Christ Conference in milan because it was a provoking thought. why did it gush out? why was it smooth? we were four in the car and we had plenty of time to talk. we suddenly got to the topic of dr. muriel's turbulent flow.

when i think of it, i just don't think about water, i think about life. why is it that sometimes, it seems that our life is flowing smoothly like the water in hotel rooms which seem so serene that you might think it was really designed to please the eyes of the guest; and at times it seems to gush out like an uncontrollable geyser. is it because there's somebody controlling the tap of our life? is God that invisible hand that turns our life on and off, gushing, pouring at times and sometimes, as dry as the desert with only trickles that pour from it?

i think there is a hand that controls everything but the water has a mind of its own too. again, here comes free will. we can turn on our own taps, with our magic hands. in what kind of situations? our mouths ... we can control whatever comes out of it. i heard once that's why our ears are open so we can understand all the more and that's why the mouth has a tongue, teeth and lips to make sure that if it has to open it would have passed the 3 lines of defence from uttering unkind and hurtful words. we can also control our actions. non-verbal communication plays a bigger part than uttered words.

but that's the part we can control, what about the other invisible hands that control your tap? the situations around you, the people, everything that isn't in your control. in those times, we can't help but flow like a geyser. we wait until the gush becomes controllable or we cut the main pipe. we take time to reflect, collect ourselves. keep those feelings inside and let out ourselves. we can let it out smoothly or like a gush at one go.

i learned from researching laminar flow that the water must be parallel to the stationary plate travelling at zero or more as in the case of a pipe surrounding the water so that it remains smooth. in short, everything is moving in one direction, at the same speed in relation to the stationary plate before layering and reaching the moving plate. because somehow even water has layers. it could be like flowing with the plan of God. everything flows smoothly when we're with Him. since flow is characterized by resistence, then when we go against the grain, does it become turbulent.

the key word is resistence. how much do we want to resist so that the water flow becomes as turbulent as it can get. would we need 10 firefighters to hold our flow?

what about those times when we're drying up at the well? where then does the flow come from? if we plan carefully and dig our well above a water reserve, then we will have ample water supply. wasn't it Jesus who said to the Pharisees, "Whoever believes in me, as scripture says: 'Rivers of living water will flow from within him.'" (Jn 7:38). And Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, "Jesus answered and said to her, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'" (Jn. 4:13-14)

there's our ample water source: Jesus! let Him flow through you and let God be your stationary plate. if the tough gets going, let the Holy Spirit be your moving plate so that at whatever speed our life is moving, it can even out at some point because we are in the pipe of God's love.

so how do you want your life to be a laminar or turbulent flow?

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