Thomas Edison and his associated worked on 3,000 different theories using at least 10,000 different types of material to develop an efficient incandescent lamp (which heats a thin strip of material – called a filament – until it gets hot enough to glow). He stumbled across an idea one day and began testing carbonized filaments of plant fibers. It took years of trial of over 6,000 materials before he found the carbonized cotton thread filament would burn for 15 hours. When asked about his failures, Edison said he did not fail, he found 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb, but he only needed to find 1 way to make it work.
I suppose we can’t all sit around patiently testing various theories in order to invent something new. But we can apply Mr. Edisons example to every day life by not becoming discouraged by situations that appear on the surface to be failures.
With all the doctors who don’t have answers and tests that come back negative, I get discouraged because we don’t have next steps or any idea of when, or if, I will be cured or even begin to feel better. Today – another negative test result. So tomorrow, we move forward toward success with the next opportunity.
Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged. Deuteronomy 1:21