Friday, February 24, 2012
Rubber Meets the Road
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain. - I Corinthians 15:58
When told that rubber from India could be used for a multitude of products, Charles Goodyear spent years boiling rubber with magnesia, nitric acid, lime, and bronze powder in an attempt to make it more useful. Each experiment failed. Depending upon the temperature, the natural properties of rubber made it too sticky, brittle or pliable. Charles sank more money into his projects – and sank his family further into debt.
Then in1939 while standing beside a hot stove, Charles accidently brushed sulfur from his hands. The rubber melted, reacting with sulfur and produced vulcanized rubber, a flexible material that could be shaped into a variety of products. For months afterward when anyone asked where they might find Charles Goodyear, they were told, “Look for the man without a penny in his pocket wearing an India-rubber cap, coat, shoes, and purse. That’ll be Charles Goodyear.”
Paul, in writing to the struggling church in Corinth, encouraged its members to remain steadfast in their work within the Kingdom of God. To work in solitude, unnoticed by man, reveals our true character, motives, and passion. It is here in the desert, away from the applause and at-a-boys, that Charles Goodyear’s “rubber meets the road.”
So I ask you: If you knew you could succeed, what would you try to create, build, or write?
Perseverance is endurance combined with the absolute assurance that we will succeed. Perseverance is more than blind faith and foolish determination. It is the quiet confidence that we are right in our course of action -- that our supreme effort and immovable determination will achieve for us the thing we seek.
Today Charles Goodyear’s “accidental brush with luck” is everywhere, from the tires on our cars to hockey pucks on the ice.
The question is not: “Will this work?”
The question is: “Will I?”