My daughter Tia has always liked to draw. The little artist in her became very apparent from the time she was young. We were always buying her something new to use to draw, like glow in the dark crayons. One Sunday afternoon she was coloring away with these when I noticed the time. “Its getting late. Run and go get dressed for Sunday evening services,” I barked. She did not have time to put up her crayons.
When arrived home, it was evident from the crime scene in the den that the family dog, Spencer, had taken advantage of our oversight. The bits and pieces of crayons and their wrappers were littered all over the carpet. Spencer was hiding, because he knew he was in the wrong. We cleaned up the mess and did not think anything more about it.
Three or four days later I came home, ate supper, and afterward when it was dark out, I glanced outside into the black back yard. Something was odd. Something was glowing. It was here and there in several locations in the backyard. “Beverley, do we have lightening bugs” I asked my wife. “No. I have never seen any in our backyard. Besides it too late in the year for lightening bugs.”
My curiosity demanded I find a flashlight and investigate. The glow led me to a surprise. The glowing was coming from dog poop.
At this point I had one of those eureka moments. What a great invention this would be. Glow in the dark dog food, so pet owners would not have the foul experience of stepping in doggy doo doo in the dark (the last phrase I like saying it even better than writing it). Not only could they avoid such a mishap, they could find and pick it up and dispose of it even in the dark. This would be real handy for those who work late and have to take their dog for a walk in the park where they would be required one to pick up after their dog. However, my invention would never see the light of day. Glow in the dark dog food never came to the shelves of the local pet store. It seems Crayola and Purina were not interested.
There have been many accidental and unintended discoveries throughout history. One of them involved walking a dog. In 1941 a Swiss electrical engineer named George de Mestral after walking his dog came home and began picking the burs out of his dogs fur. A closer investigation of the burs led him to patent Velcro.
A Raytheon engineer was working with a magnetron when he discovered the chocolate bar in his pocket melted when he was next to the running device. This led to the unexpected discovery of the microwave which is now found in many kitchens across the globe. And made the king of microwave popcorn, Orville Redenbacher, rich.
Diabetics have been blessed with the artificial sugar substitute, “Sweet’N Low” due to an accidental discovery. A chemist forgot to wash his hands upon going to lunch. When he tasted something sweet on his fingers.
The Bible is also filled with accidental discoveries which have changed history. Moses was tending sheep when he discovered a burning bush. The city of Samaria was besieged by the Syrian army and starving to death. One day four lepers went out and accidently discovered the Syrian camp empty. God had scared them away and they left all their food supplies behind. Years later when the Assyrians were besieging Jerusalem King Hezekiah prayed to God for help. The next day the inhabitants of capital of Judah were surprised to find 185,000 dead Assyrians outside their gates. After Naaman dipped seven times in the Jordan River he discovered that his leprosy was gone. And a couple of women along with Peter and John discovered the empty tomb of Jesus one Sunday morning.
The Bible is filled with surprises for readers who accidentally stumble on God’s will and have their lives changed forever. A homosexual finds passages condemning his life style and repents. A man comes across James 2:24 and rejects salvation by faith only and is baptized for the forgiveness of sins. However, these discoveries are not accidents. God put those things in his book for us to discover. If you only pick up the Bible and start investigating its pages you too will make some unexpected discoveries.
– Daniel R. Vess