Windshield wipers

The winter weather has arrived.

Earlier this afternoon I was out driving in the rain/snow and was reminded of the value of my windshield wipers.

Can you imagine driving in wintry conditions without them?

Mary Anderson felt the pain of driving without windshield wipers.

In 1902, during a visit to New York City, she was riding in a streetcar on a snowy day. Mary noticed that the driver had to continually get out and clean off the windshield.

This got her to thinking about a way to clean off the windshield without having to stop and get out and wipe it by hand.

After heading back to Birmingham, Mary made a sketch, wrote up a description and applied for a patent for the windshield wiper.

Unfortunately, there were more skeptics than believers back then. In fact, one manufacturing firm she contacted replied to her invention with this gem,

Dear madam, we beg to acknowledge receipt of your recent favor with reference to the sale of your patent. In reply, we regret to state we do not consider it to be of such commercial value as would warrant our undertaking its sale.”

Mary Anderson lived another fifty years and so at some point she saw the fruit of her labor. Finally, in 2011 she was inducted into the inventor’s hall of fame.

However, my guess is that until this email, if I had asked you about Mary Anderson, you would have no idea who she was or what she had done.

This Sunday, I am excited to share a sermon from John 3:23-30 about a conversation regarding the disciples of Jesus. Some of John the Baptist’s followers were concerned that “all the people were now going to Jesus.” It’s certainly implied that John’s followers were concerned about losing popularity. And they would even be forgotten.

Much to their surprise (at least I think) John the Baptist was more than happy to be forgotten. In fact he closes out our Scripture with this opinion about Jesus, “He must increase, I must decrease.”

Chances are you and I won’t come up with an invention near as cool as the windshield wiper and chances are within a generation or two we will also be forgotten. But that’s ok because we were made to point the attention to Jesus and not ourselves.

There is so much more to discuss, so I hope you can make a plan to attend the service either at 9:00 or 10:45am on Sunday. And don’t forget to cheer for the Chiefs tomorrow.