A Fresh Start

31 12 2014

It happened almost 100 years ago to one of Ohio’s finest. At around 5:30 in the evening on Dec. 10, 1914, a massive explosion erupted in West Orange, New Jersey. Ten buildings in Thomas Edison’s plant, were engulfed in flames. Between six and eight fire departments rushed to the scene, but the chemical-fueled inferno was too powerful to put out quickly. The damage exceeded $2 million ($23 million in today’s dollars), the buildings were insured for only ¼ million because they were made of concrete and were thought to be fireproof. Destroyed were many of Edison’s inventions, prototypes, notes, and history (would catch millions in today’s auctions), as well as factories, inventory, and offices. The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.” Edison was quoted in The New York Times as saying, “Although I am over 67 years old, I’ll start all over again tomorrow.” And he did. Came roaring back. After just three weeks, with a sizable loan from his friend Henry Ford, Edison got part of the plant up and running again. His employees worked double shifts and set to work producing more than ever. Edison and his team went on to make almost $10 million in revenue the following year. His kind of tragedy would give most people a heart attack or cause great sadness and despair when realizing they would have to start all over again at 67 years old. Yet, instead of wallowing in his own misfortune Edison looks at the catastrophe as a new beginning, a way to start fresh, unhindered by past mistakes. As we begin the New Year, rejoice with me that the God of mercy goes before us no matter what fire comes up in our life.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

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