Over time, God crafts us for his purpose

Sunday, July 25, 2010

For most of us the names Spencer Silver and Art Fry do not immediately register as famous or even remotely important.

Yet their effect is seen in nearly every office, home and school throughout our nation and the world. Silver and Fry are the inventors of the Post-it Note.

In 1968, Silver developed an adhesive that didn't stick well. He shared his discovery in a seminar with several of his colleagues. One of those men was Fry.

Fry, while singing in his church choir in 1974, was using scraps of paper to mark his page. When he stood up to sing, the paper would fall out causing him to lose his place. That's when he remembered Silver's adhesive. He could apply a small portion of it to his bookmarks so they would stay in place and remove them without damaging the paper.

Getting that idea into the multicolored product that it is today was not as simple. The accidental discovery and innovation had to be refined. The two had to convince their corporate office of the usefulness of the product and the marketing departments had the challenge of getting people to use and actually purchase the product. It was not until 1980 that Fortune 500 types began singing the praises of the Post-it.

Proverbs 25:4 speaks of another type of silver: "Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel."

The picture described in this proverb is the smelting process in which a metallurgist removes the precious material from the waste. Once the waste material has been removed, what remains has many uses. Under the watchful eye, care and craftsmanship of the smith, he separates what is beautiful and useful from that which is not.

In this proverb, we are the silver and the Lord is the smith. We are the metal created for a beautiful purpose. A purpose that is both precious and desperately needed. He is the one who is refining us for that purpose. The Lord uses the heat of life to refine that which you are, cleaning off that which is not useful.

Silver and Fry endured challenges in getting their invention to the public. The heat from the challenge refined their product and its usefulness. God has created you for a purpose. Endure the heat. Only God knows just how far your refining will take you.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: