Friday, January 19, 2018

Faster Horses

Post by: Andrea Laser

A few years ago, as part of my school district’s initiative toward more innovative practices, I was fortunate enough to be on a team that received training in “Design Thinking.” It has truly changed the way I think about solving problems and has made me consider the best approaches to innovation and creativity. One of the exercises they had us complete was trying to solve a problem as a team, and we were given prompts such as brainstorming solutions, if your budget was $100 million dollars, if all you could use was magic, etc. At first it seemed ridiculous, and my usually practical, efficient, and somewhat cynical brain went to a pattern of “that won’t work, because…” The lesson out of the activity? Some of the greatest innovations and solutions to problems have come from ideas that were once considered magic or unreasonable (think about an iPhone 100 years ago).

A quote they shared from Henry Ford is now one of my favorites, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Yeah, we would have. Things that seem so common now were once unimaginable, non-existent, even in our imagination.

Recently I have been praying for very specific solutions I have come up with to my problems. And to be honest, I haven’t yet seen those prayers being answered. It’s a feeling I don’t like- that unsure, anxiety filled place where the next step isn’t always clear or the timing isn’t always laid out in front of me. I’ve been trying to take a new perspective- God is the original innovator, and his plan for us is always different than we ever imagined it to be. Even Jesus, who was the Savior the world had been praying for, was not what most people imagined he would be, but he was exactly who we needed. His gift of grace and love to his people were more than likely not the gifts that many people were imagining, but they have changed the world forever.

That’s the thing about God; he doesn’t show up and just hand us what we ask for. He isn’t our “yes man,” or someone who always answers our prayers in the way we want him to. God works on problems we don’t even know exist yet, and deals with our problems in ways that don’t always make sense at the moment. If we accept that and can give that control over to him, we might just see that his solutions and path are exactly what we need.

They may even seem magical.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Andrea is an Early Childhood Special Educator, as well as mom to Paxton and Wyatt. She and her husband Steve, have been members of BUMC since 2009.

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