For over 10 years I tutored high school students in my local town in math and physics. It is a privilege to help out young people who are struggling with their studies. I would go to their home and help them with their latest homework. I met some wonderful families, and some were friends already.
One time, a family friend asked me if I could help her son Byron in physics. He was going to Boston Latin, a very competitive high school, and although he was a B student, he was really struggling with this class. It was an introductory class, and science wasn’t his thing. “Sure,” I said, “I’d be glad to, free of charge.”
So after that I began coming by once a week to help. Now winter time is the time that science students have to start thinking about the science fair. For a kid who doesn’t particularly care about science, this is a time of confusion and frustration. “Science fair?” Usually, they want someone to just tell them what to do, so they can get it over with – fast.
Now Byron likes sports, and it occurred to me that there are some simple physics ideas in sports.
“How about this one: sports equipment like baseball bats and tennis racquets have a sweet spot. There’s some simple physics behind it that I think you could understand. And it’s related to what you’ve studied so far.” “OK,” he said. He always trusted me.
So I wrote up some stuff to help him out, a short description of the key physics concepts with a couple of simple key equations. I met with him and explained these keys to him.
After that, he just ran with it. He decided he would look at different types of baseball bats. He would try to determine whether sweet spots matched with different types of bats. He made ideas for testing, setting up a plan, finding and buying equipment, carrying out the tests, and taking measurements.
He has a good gift for presentation, and so he presented his project with his engaging personality at the classroom science fair.
He won the classroom science fair. Everyone was surprised. His family could hardly believe it.
Now it was on to the school fair.
Now, he was in the introductory Physics class – you know, the class for the kids that have to take a science class. He was going up against the entire school now – that includes all the AP physics and chemistry and biology students. All the students headed for Harvard and MIT and all the other Ivy League schools that Boston Latin sends so many of its students to.
But he won that too. He won the science fair for the whole Boston Latin School.
Impossible. His family couldn’t believe it. His friends in school couldn’t believe it. The school couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t believe it. No one could believe it.
How did this happen? How did he do the impossible?
Because he believed in his tutor. And his tutor gave him the keys.
The Lord promised Peter that He would give him the keys to do the impossible because he believed in Him: “And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you shall bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Mt 16:19)
If you listen to the Lord, He will give you the keys. Why?
So that you can do the impossible.