By Katherine Harris
“Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” – Mark 3:3-5 (NIV)
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
I heard this question several years ago in a movie, “Imagine Me & You” (if you haven’t seen it, go watch it—it’s one of my favorite rainy day movies, and you really can’t beat Lena Headey as a cynical, lovestruck lesbian florist). Periodically, I lie awake at night thinking about it. That’s the kind of person I am. I like logic puzzles, thinkers, “brain teasers.” I need mental exercise the way some people need to run several miles a day.
The answer, of course, is that it’s a trick question—the two cannot exist simultaneously. If an unstoppable force exists, by definition there is nothing that can stop it, so there could not be an immovable object in the face of such a force. No matter how entrenched, no matter how powerful the inertia—eventually the object will move.