Saturday, April 10, 2021

 Better Way

They say that necessity is the mother of all inventions.  I don’t fully understand this concept…because I feel like I personally…“need”…a great deal of things…but, as of yet, I have not personally invented anything that is patent worthy.  Over the years I have spent many hours walking through the halls of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, (my beautiful wife’s…and Henry Ford’s home town). This massive brick structure filled with antiquities is one of my favorite historical places to visit, not just for the historical relics, but also for the plethora of inventions that have been placed on display.  While walking the grounds, you can find original, as well as replicas, of great created items like Edison’s light bulb, Gutenberg’s printing press, steam engines, telegraphs, firearms, automobiles and so much more. 

These inventions are great examples of how human beings strive to make things easier.  Firearms make hunting easier.  Light bulbs make seeing at night easier.  Automobiles make getting to places easier. Telegraphs…make understanding Morse Code…about as difficult as ever…but…you get the idea. 

Struggle is in some capacities a way of life.  That is why we work so hard to invent.  When we suffer…we work to end our suffering.  As we grow older and more mature, we find newer and better ways to do things. 

I remember working at the cabinet shop while I was in college.  At the end of every day we were required to clean the shop.  On my first day in the shop I took to the sweeping…creating a large pile in the center of the shop and then went looking for a dustpan or a shovel to pick up the mess.  I could not find one…anywhere.  I proceeded to use a thin scrap piece of ¼“ plywood and struggled to get all of the sawdust, wood shavings, scrap and dirt lifted off of the floor and into the garbage can.  As I suffered at my lot…the shop foreman stared at me…shook his head and said… “There is a better way.”

I argued with him…“Hey! I looked for a dust pan and a shovel and I couldn’t find either…so unless you can show me where they are…I don’t think that there is a better way.”

“There is no shovel…there is no dustpan…but there IS a better way!”

“I think, I am managing just fine.”

“No…you are struggling…and this will be you plight every day…until you let me show you the better way.”

“Fine! Oh guru of the better way…show me!”

He calmly took the broom from my hand...pushing what remained of the mess toward a wall.  He pressed a large green button on the wall and the huge dust collection system fired up…he opened a valve on a vertical ductwork chute right in front of him that ran from floor to ceiling and suddenly the entire dust pile that I had created was sucked up the chute and out of sight.

“Oh…there is a better way.”

I believe that God has a better way for us as well.  As humans, we continually attempt to navigate this life and do everything on our own, often acknowledging that there is no better way…than our own way. 

God has a better way…but sometimes…that better way includes suffering.  Revelation 6 is a very challenging passage.  We may read it and wonder…why does God do all of this?  I can’t say that I understand all of God’s intentions…yet, I do believe that I can see his goodness even in these challenging verses.  I can see His way…and it is a better way…than what I could ever invent.

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