I taught Grade 8 Science for ten years and I enjoyed every minute of it. I loved the challenge of bringing science ideas to life by getting students involved in role-playing various chemical reactions and scientific laws. For example, if the students didn’t understand the idea of active transport, (the movement of a substance against its concentration gradient, that is, from low to high concentration) the textbooks were closed and the students were put into groups. Someone would be appointed to act as the narrator, others linked arms and pretended to be the cell membrane and some were given the challenge of being the carrier proteins, picking up molecules and escorting them across the membrane barrier. We always laughed a lot together and the students “got it” because they were forced to perform the scientific process and provide an explanation. It might not have worked with older students but thirteen-year-old students loved it! Let’s face it – there are a lot of life lessons to be learned in Science class!
This morning, God vividly brought to my mind a particular experience with my astute Grade 8 students. It happened a few years ago.
I was introducing the principle of osmosis to the class. We were reviewing the three kinds of cell membranes in the body – permeable, impermeable and selectively permeable. Permeable membranes allow everything to go through, impermeable membranes don’t allow anything to go through and selectively permeable membranes are just that – they are selective as to what is allowed to pass back and forth. I asked the students which kind of membrane would be the most efficient. One young lady shot up her hand and said, “The selectively permeable membrane would be best,” and then she continued, “Mrs. L. THAT’S just like life. I know people who let everything and anything into their life…the good and the bad. I also know people who don’t let anything through – good or bad. It seems to me that as we grow up, we have to learn how to selectively choose what we are going to allow in our lives and what we don’t, right?” The class went silent…and that doesn’t happen very often in Grade 8.
Well, if that wasn’t a golden moment to illuminate truth, I don’t know what is! So, once again, I put my lesson plan to the side and for the remainder of the class, the students put together skits about these three types of membranes and how all this applies to people.
The “Aha!” moment came when one of the groups were performing what seemed to be a very funny skit – and suddenly the “impermeable person” keeled over and died. I will never forget what Jeffrey said. “If a cell has a impermeable membrane, it doesn’t allow anything to pass through – nothing bad can get out and nothing good can come in – so it will die. Our group believes that there are impermeable people too. It’s like they build a big wall around themselves. This stops anything good from getting into their lives and it stops anything that is bad inside them from coming out. So, eventually they just die.”
There ARE impermeable people in this world.
Ephesians 4: 17 – 19 so I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.