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A WORD FOR TODAY, June 25, 2021
“Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:30-31, WEB
Business leaders often talk about teamwork, what works and what doesn’t work. There are several characteristics common to the teams that are successful, from sports teams to creative teams to business teams. Thomas Edison is often used as an example of a good leader who knew how to encourage his team to work well. It is impossible to summarize a man like Edison’s in just a few paragraphs, but one thing is clear: he was viewed both positively and negatively.
Thomas Edison had a research and development center in Menlo Park, New Jersey. This was the first of its kind, with a variety of different laboratories in one area working on different inventions at the same time. Edison was a genius in team design who invited the most intelligent, creative and passionate men in diverse fields to join his team. These men were able to work together to create much of the technology that has become a staple of our lives today.
When asked about Thomas Edison’s greatest achievement, most people would say that he invented the light bulb. In reality, Edison had little to do with that invention; it was another man’s idea that was developed and perfected by his research team. Sadly, there are those who would put Edison down for this very reason, claiming that he can’t be considered the greatest inventor because he didn’t even invent the thing for which he is given the most credit. Yet, of the thousand or more inventions that came out of his research and development center, Thomas had a hands-on role for many and actually did invent quite a few. On top of that, Thomas Edison can be called “the father of the electrical age” because he was the one who first developed the standardized, commercially centralized, underground central power facility. By doing so, Edison proved that electric light and power could be made practically available to all of mankind.
When asked where this amazing historical event took place, many might say it was in New York City. Thomas Edison did work on such a station in New York, but the real success was developed in Brockton, Massachusetts. Edison was a practical man who knew how to handle the business aspects of inventing as well as the creativitiy. He knew that he would receive more publicity, acclaim and credit if he presented his work in New York. However, his work in New York paled in comparison to the work done in Massachusetts. His critics even agreed that Edison deserved recognition for the plant in Brockton. Yet, Edison kept his focus on New York.
Now the history of Edison’s greatest accomplishment is practically forgotten and school kids remember him for something that he really did not even do.
If you asked a student about Thomas Edison, he would most likely tell you something different than an electrician who would tell you something different than a historian. Some would have positive things to say, others would have negative things to say. Thomas Edison was certainly a man with great accomplishments, but he is also a fascinating study business savvy and ethics. He was an inventor, but he was also a man who received credit for the work of others. It was his very ability to choose the right men at the right time for his team that made him – and them – very successful.
Who is Jesus to you? This is a most important question, but it is a question that comes with as many answers as people answering. Your answer will be different than your neighbor’s answer, even if they are Christian. The non-Christian will have a totally different answer. Some say Jesus is a friend, others Savior, others a wonderful teacher, and others say He is a miracle man. The scriptures give us His story; they writers tell us the stories that revolved around His life. We see the people He chose. They were not always the most intelligent, creative, or passionate. At times they seem foolish in their uncertainty. However, Jesus did not depend on the people who followed Him. The disciples and others were chosen to support Him, to follow Him, to take His grace to the world. In the stories we see the human nature of those who believe in Him so that we will see ever more clearly the head of the Church that began with that ragtag bunch of people two thousand years ago: Jesus Christ.
He is indeed friend, Savior, teacher and healer. But He is much more. The scriptures show us that He is the Christ, the Son of God. Believe in Him and you will have life.
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