By Larry d. Wright
“Everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it.”
In 1912, Ford Motor Company had a production manager named William Knudsen. Considered one of the best in his field, Knudsen became convinced that the Model T (which had been in production for 4 years at the time) had to be updated. But, the only obstacle standing in his way was an innovator named Henry Ford! He loved his creation so much it was well known he opposed changing anything about the car.
According to Robert Lacy, in his best selling biography Ford: The Man and the Machine,Knudsen attempted to convince Ford by building an updated and impressive model to show what could be done with a few changes in color and design. When Ford returned from a European vacation he went to a Highland Park, Michigan garage and saw the new design created by Knudsen.
On-the-scene mechanics later revealed how Ford responded.
The car was a four door design; the top was down, painted gleaming red and built on a new, low slung version of the Model T frame. One eyewitness reported, "Ford had his hands in his pockets, and he walked around that car three or four times…. Finally, he got to the left hand side of the car, and he took his hands out, grabbed hold of the door, and bang! He ripped the door right off!… How the man done it, I don’t know! He jumped in there, and bang goes the other door. Bang goes the windshield. He jumps over the back seat and starts pounding on the top. He rips the top with the heel of his shoe. He wrecked the car as much as he could."
Knudsen got the message and left for General Motors. Henry Ford nursed along the Model T, but design changes in competitor’s models made it more old-fashioned than he would admit. Competitive necessity finally backed him into making the Model A, but his heart was never in it.
Issac Newton’s First Law of Motion states, “Everything continues in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change by forces impressed upon it.”
Henry Ford was one of the greatest minds of his day and one of the most creative innovator’s of his age and yet… Henry Ford resisted the obvious need for change. Unfortunately, sometimes early innovators and even early adaptors stand in the way of important change because, like Henry Ford, they are enamored by their past success.
Someone once said that when it comes to change the church is often like the snail riding on the back of a turtle and do you know what a snail says when it rides on the back of the turtle? It says, "Whee!"
Good News! Our great and awesome God never changes! He is indeed the same, yesterday, today and forever. So if you are a little sea-sick in a world of cosmic change, or your head is spinning because of the massive culture-shift taking place in our world, there is Good News! Keep your focus on Him, the One who never changes. He is the star forever fixed in heaven and even when the world doesn’t make sense, He does. Keep your eyes on Him!