Did you know that Play-Doh was ironically created to be a cleaning product? The paste was first marketed as a treatment for filthy wallpaper. Kutol, the company that produced it was not doing well and was headed for bankruptcy. Children had started using it to create Christmas ornaments as arts and craft projects. Kutol, removed the compound’s cleanser, added colors and a fresh scent (I think that could be debatable) … turned this wallpaper cleaner into one of the most iconic toys of all time! It brought mega success to a company headed for destruction.
As I read this story it made me think of how often do we feel like we are completely on the wrong path! Then suddenly a door opens and it seems so clear. Maybe right now you are still on that path, wondering what the heck?
I just got the opportunity this week to re-watch the movie “Soul Surfer”. If you have never had the opportunity to watch it, I highly recommend it! It’s based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer. As a teenager while out surfing, one of her arms was completely bit off by a shark. Her fight and determination along with her family’s support for her to be able to surf again, is so inspiring. When she had made it back to competing in surfing a reporter asked her, if she wished she had not gone surfing that one day, when she lost her arm. Bethany, quickly answered no, she realized this gave her an amazing platform to inspire others and to share her faith in God!
I was recently talking with some ladies about their journeys to where they are right now. Some had more tragedy in their past than others, but each of them said I wouldn’t go back and change anything. I hear this over and over in conversations. The reasoning is they each understand they wouldn’t be who they are today without going through everything they have up to this point.
The owner of Kutol could have put his foot down and declared they we are not giving up on this putty being used as a cleaning product. He could have justified that they weren’t in the toy market, they were about cleaning products and people would have totally understood. Thankfully instead of ignoring this opportunity, he adjusted and made the needed changes that open the door for amazing success.
Bethany could have lived in a state of bitterness and self-pity and many would have understood. Many, people have had tragic things happen to them and for years and sometimes the rest of their lives, they live as a victim. I am sure initially Bethany nor her parents could see anything good out of what happened to her. I went online and watch some of the home videos that the Hamilton family have posted. One story Bethany shared was right before the paramedics rushed her to the hospital, one of them whispered in her ear “God will never leave you or forsake you”. Then the first time she went back out to try to surf after losing her arm, you hear whoever is videoing ask her if she had prayed. Then you hear her say a quick prayer before she headed out.
Many of you have heard the story of our oldest son. He was born blind. My husband and I had never even been around a blind person, now we were going to be raising one. I promise you we leaned on God like we never had before. When our son was just a toddler, I felt like God had put in my heart and my mind, if Steve wasn’t healed, if his eyesight wasn’t restored, it was because he had a bigger, better plan for him. I would argue with God and assure him the biggest and best plan was for our son to see like a normal little boy! I won’t go through his whole story here, but he attended Missouri School for the blind 10th – 12th grade. When he graduated from there we had teachers, coaches and even the principle tell us our son had positively impacted the school like no other student they could remember. He then went onto a program in Colorado, at the Colorado Center for the Blind. The teachers and the director told us they immediately fell in love with Steve’s “can do” spirit! We realized and have now talked to our son many times about the fact that he could have never positively impacted so many sighted and unsighted people had he been a normal sighted young man. We didn’t get to see it in the first, second,or fifth year, but we now see God had a plan for our son, that was so much bigger than we could have understood in those early days or even years!
We all have a story, I don’t know where you are at right now or what all you’ve gone through in the past. Hebrew 13:5b is a great reminder “God has said, Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” He does want us to put our trust in Him, especially when our path seemingly takes an unwanted or unexpected turn.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight!