There’s a new fad circulating on a few social media sites. It’s a guessing game “Age Test” that offers photos of items that have fallen out of use and into obscurity. Photos of a roller-skate key, a sardine can key, an eight-track player, even drive-in movie theater car speakers have popped up on Facebook, Pinterest, and other sites.
While these objects – only forty or fifty years old – have passed into history, I’m reminded of predictions made fifty years ago regarding the twenty-first century. Remember the promise of a paperless workspace? Computers that fit in the palm of your hand? I remember watching Star Trek episodes in the 1960s in which the show’s characters carried on conversations with computers and wondered how that could ever be possible in my lifetime.
But some of these predictions have already been fulfilled. We not only speak on smartphones, we speak to them…and they speak back! Computer chips the size of a fingernail contain information that would fill an entire library. The paperless workspace? Not so much…yet. But it’s coming.
An innovation you may not have heard of yet is the flexible robot. Remember playing with Gumby? This robot is shaped like Gumby, with a white, soft body. Harvard scientists studied animals that did not have hard skeletons in order to create a five-inch long robot made of rubber.
The flexible robot is able to crawl, slide, and squeeze through tight spaces, controlled by air pumped into, or released from, its four legs.
Science has always promised us a better life through pioneering inventions. But no matter how innovative the products, they are limited to slight improvements for a life that is temporary, no matter how hard we try to make it otherwise.
God has also made promises to us – promises that will not disappoint because they are related to a life that will last forever. Promises that help us cope with this temporary life while keeping an eternal perspective. Promises based on His unchanging nature and His glorious ways.
It’s fun to remember old items that recall simpler times. It’s exciting to consider new inventions that promise comfort and ease. But we should never get so comfortable that we begin to believe this is all there is to life. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (I Corinthians 2:9).
There’s an even better life coming!
What invention do you wish for that would make life better?