The Man With The Better Idea

thomas-edisonI have always been amazed at the brilliant and inventive mind of Thomas Edison.   During his lifetime, Edison developed many devices including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and his discoveries were the prototype of the modern day power grid.

To offer some insight into the mind of Edison, I have selected five simple but intriguing quotes that are credited to this wonderful man:

  • The man who doesn’t make up his mind to cultivate the habit of thinking misses the greatest pleasure in life.
  • The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.
  • I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.
  • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
  • I believe that the science of chemistry alone almost proves the existence of an intelligent creator.

In 1914, Edison’s factory burned to the ground destroying his one-of-a-kind prototypes.  Edison’s response to the catastrophe revealed his character: “Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start fresh again.”

This remarkable statement by Edison, reminds me of Paul’s assessment of his life.  Notice the value he places on what he lost and what he gained, and how he contrasts the earthly and the eternal:  “But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ.  More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith (Philippians 3:7-9).”

What do you value most, the earthly or the eternal?  Paul said: ” For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).

Three That Leave Me Full of Wonder

3_of_hearts_by_farvei-d3kgg80There are three short verses in the fifth chapter of Thessalonians that leave me full of wonder: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Every time I read these verses, I wonder how it is possible to fully embrace their principles:

  • I rejoice, but I must confess I do not “always” rejoice.
  • I pray, but I do “cease.”
  • I give “thanks,” but I have to be honest: There’s quite a few times I do not give thanks for “everything.”

When I read these verses yesterday, I gave a little more attention to “in everything give thanks.”  It occurred to me that I have never given thanks to:

  • Ben Franklin for the eyeglasses that sit atop my nose and help me to see.
  • Thomas Edison for the light bulbs that brighten my house and my office.
  • Henry Ford for his ingenuity in manufacturing the automobile.
  • Sir Alexander Fleming and his life-saving discovery of penicillin.

Let me challenge you to join me in do something different today.  Every time you have a negative thought, replace immediately by giving thanks for something in your life.  Any inconvenience you experience today is to be used as a reminder to give thanks for something that makes your life easier.

By the end of the day, we might be giving thanks for more things, if not everything.