The Hemingway Law Of Motion

You may have heard or read a well-known quotation from “The Sun Also Rises” used to describe a good number of events, situations, and outcomes.  It is used to explain the collapse of a business [1], a political movement [2], a world order [3], a personality [4], an economic bubble [5], a leadership failure, the end of the European Union [6], and/or the socio-political [7] changes presently taking place.

“How did you go bankrupt?”
“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

―Ernest Hemingway,
The Sun Also Rises

Hemingway makes the point that things happen slowly, and then the collapse takes place suddenly.  That “Hemingway Law Of Motion”[7] may also explain what happens with some ministries and local churches.

After a series of actions and decisions, over a long period of time, suddenly an action or decision is made that precipitates a sudden collapse that “no one” saw coming.  The avalanche was building over the months and days of winter, and finally, a snowflake landed on the accumulation, and the vast movement of snow was triggered.

That might describe what takes place in ministries and local churches.  It is not this-or-that event or decision, but the building of events and decisions that finally result in a sudden avalanche or collapse.

By the way, there is a clearly stated principle that was revealed in the Scriptures long before Hemingway that we might call, the Asaph Law Of Motion . . . .

Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.

How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.

As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

— Psalm 73 —

I cannot imagine what this must feel like!

. . . . .

Other Information & Links:

  7. i.e. — the death of George Floyd

One thought on “The Hemingway Law Of Motion

  1. I remember a metal building at our work place accumulated a foot of snow pac on the roof. One day a forklift hit a main support post inside which shook the whole building. each roof side was 100 feet long and 40 feet wide. All the snow slid off the roof in three seconds time. One very nice car had parked by the side of the building in front of the “no parking” sign. both were crushed by 40 feet of heavy snow.


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