I love inventions. You know those things that are household words, but that started out as somebody’s big idea? Let’s take aluminum foil. I probably pull out the foil to line the bottom of my oven, wrap a casserole, hold fast to a plate of cookies, or for other reasons several times a week. Do I think to myself how happy I am that Charles Martin Hall came up with the solution that worked better than tin foil in 1910? No, but now that I think about it, his idea has been around for 100 years, so perhaps I should applaud him a little bit.
Another example. Band-aids, the brain child of Earle Dickson in 1920 has becomes such a brand name that we call any manufacturer’s brand, a band aid. We talk about making a “band-aid” fix on a problem, just enough to solve it so we can keep going. Where would we be without band-aids?
And look at things like blue jeans, invented by Levi Strauss and Coca-cola, invented by Dr. John Pemberton in 1886 and this gadget I spend most of my life connected to, the Apple computer made readily usable in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Here we are with all these inventions, way too numerous to imagine, that we are able to take for granted on a daily basis because they are part of us.
So what I wonder is how often do we step aside from a BIG idea? How often does God urge us on to a very important creative idea, something that would make the world a better place, make a difference in the lives of others, even change the course of history, and yet, we let it pass? My thought here is not about judging whether we make good choices or not, but about understanding how much a part we are of the creative process. Our Creator has given us all that we need to become more, to offer more, to come up with brilliant ideas, incredible discoveries, things that will still be around a hundred years from now.
Oh, your idea may not be one that makes you rich and famous. I mean how many people actually remember that Ruth Handler invented the Barbie Doll, but that shouldn’t stop you from engaging as fully as possible to create something meaningful and powerful. Your idea may not revolutionize the world, but it might make an incredible difference to your family, or your students, or the company you work for. It might just make an amazing difference to you because you’ll be delivering on the promise given you from birth that you have a purpose, a calling if you will.
We all have big ideas. Some of us hide them along with our light under a bushel. Some of us dismiss them as probably not that important and discover just a moment later that someone else moved forward and delivered the idea we held in our hand. We are all filled with big ideas and many of them are God-inspired ideas. What will we do with them?
Even if no one remembers me one hundred years from now, I’m still hoping that somewhere, someone walked away with a simple idea that served them well, that offered them hope, that inspired their thinking for some time in the future. I’m hoping that even the small ideas we share with each other, are big enough to light our path and keep us growing and changing and moving forward. We are meant to be creative. We are all inventors. Let’s work on delivering our big ideas for the benefit of everyone we know. We can make a difference in the world!