By Rubel Shelly
Dean Kamen has made a name for himself with
quality-of-life inventions. The New Hampshire genius
created a portable kidney dialysis machine. He later
invented a wheelchair versatile enough to climb stairs
and stand on two wheels. Someone recently called
him a synthesis of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
Now the world is waiting to see if Kamen's latest
invention will live up to the hype surrounding its
introduction. The Segway Human Transporter is a
two-wheeled, self-propelled scooter that can travel
at about 12 mph. Five gyroscopes monitor a rider's
center of gravity nearly 100 times a second and both
keep you balanced and sense the direction you wish
to travel by the way your body leans.
I don't know if it will revolutionize the world. Experts are
saying the intuitive technology of the Segway HT's
gyroscopes could have far-reaching applications for
things ranging from vehicles to artificial limbs. A
mechanical device that can copy the balancing function
of the human inner ear is quite a technological feat.
But enough already about "IT." I'm more interested in
its human inventor. The man who concocted a vehicle
that he says is "like a pair of magic sneakers" attributes
the inspiration for his work to his father. "Pick something
you love and make it your life's work," Kamen's dad told
him. What wonderful advice.
I fear that most of us settle for mediocrity. Children are
creative and tend to dream of things that will change
the world. Put them under the tutelage of our typical
educational system, however, and the ability to dream
of life-changing, world-influencing, people-bettering things
will be wrung out of them pretty quickly.
What about your life? If you begrudge your prosaic
and conventional life, I challenge you to rethink not
your life situation but your attitude toward it.
Creativity isn't just for the entrepreneurial engineers
who invent things. It is for those of us who have 9-to-5
jobs, sell widgets, and count beans. It is the contagious
spirit of those vibrant souls who are always dreaming,
trying to find a better way to do the everyday things. It
is the courage to be in the minority. It is living a daily
spiritual adventure whose goal is to honor God in
everything you do.
Surely this was at the heart of Paul's counsel:
"Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do everything for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).
If you are bored or boring today, it likely will be nobody's
fault but your own.
(c) 2001 Rubel Shelly. Used by permission. From Rubel Shelly's
"FAX of Life" printed each Tuesday.
Rubel Shelly has preached for the Woodmont Hills Church of
Christ in Nashville since 1978. During that time, he has also
taught at David Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University
School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 20 books,
including several which have been translated into languages
such as Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, French, and