Last night a man in a wheel chair who’d recently moved from West Virginia, a former science teacher named Richard Austin, came to our fifth and sixth grade class and taught an object lesson.
He brought a sack of tools and hardware and had asked me to bring empty “pop cans,” as he called them. (For those of you in the North, that’s “soda cans.” For those in Arkansas, that’s “coke cans”–as in, “What kind of coke do you want?” Sprite.) He also brought rubber bands, six inch wire hooks, and half inch nuts. He demonstrated what he was going to make then showed us how.
Richard rolled the can across the table, and it came back to him. A boomarang can. The kids of course said, “cool.” Here’s how he made it:
1. Poke a hole in the bottom of the can.
2. Tie half inch nut to center of a large rubber band.
3. Hook the rubber band on the tab of the can then put hook on other side of rubber band and push nut and hook and other end of band into the can.
4. Pull the other end of the band through the hole in the bottom of the can.
5. Put a paper clip sideways to hold the rubber band as it comes through the hole in the bottom of the can. Tape it.
Now, when the can rolls, the nut and rubber band twist and then want to untwist and come back the other way.
Richard first asked us how we might apply this to the Bible and the fifth and sixth graders gave great answers, and Richard was amazed at what they came up with. Here was his object lesson from Scripture. He had one of the students read Luke 6:38 (Message):
Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.
He had them write this and several other Scriptures on the can. He talked about Agape love and what happens when love is purely expressed and what comes back to us. The children loved it. Did you know the Scripture verse numbers for three places where the Golden Rule is found add up to ten? When he first said that, I thought he was going to start into numerology! Then he said it’s a good way to remember where the passages are found. I was relieved and also have a good way to find the Golden Rule now. Remember the chapter and you can find the verse by finding the one that adds up to ten and of course is the right verse, since more than one will add up to ten. Matthew 7:12, Galatians 5:14, Luke 6:31.