“This vision is for a future time…for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”
— Habakkuk 2:3
Eniac was one of the first computers to use electronic circuits, which made for lightning-fast calculations. At first, Thomas J. Watson Jr., the former chairman of IBM, saw no use for it. He said, “I reacted to Eniac the way some people probably reacted to the Wright brother’s airplain. It didn’t move me at all…I couldn’t see the gigantic, costly, unreliable device as a piece of business equipment.”
A few weeks later, he and his father wandered into a research office at IBM and saw an engineer with a high-speed punch-card machine hooked up to a black box. When asked what he was doing, he said, “Multiplying with radio tubes.” The machine was tabulating a payroll at one-tenth the time it took the standard punch-card machine to do so. Watson recalls, “That impressed me as though somebody had hit me on the head with a hammer.”
Thomas Watson said to his father, “Dad, we should put this thing on the market! Even if we only sell eight or ten, we’ll be able to advertise the fact that we have the world’s first commercial electronic calculator.”
That’s how IBM got into electronics. Within a year, they had an electronic circuit that both multiplied and divided, and at that point, electronic calculators became truly useful. Thousands of IBM 604 were sold.
What wasn’t yet obvious to Thomas Watson was obvious to the engineer working in the research department: always keep your eyes and ears open…you never know what you are about to see! The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.
That is what faith is all about…seeing what God is doing before it becomes obvious. Not only can that happen, but it should! God is calling us, just as He called the prophet Habakkuk, to walk by faith, in His Spirit…and see.
Our world has no clue about what is coming next…we ought to. By studying God’s Word, praying, and exercising faith, we can be prepared. Nothing should catch us by surprise.