Dream word – STRAIGHT
“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight.” NKJV
Blinded by the light!
In the United Kingdom and commonwealth, for centuries this day after Christmas has been called Boxing Day. The etymology of this term is mostly concerned with employees of various sorts, receiving what can only be termed as a Christmas bonus, which was given in compensation for their work during the last year, or their work of just yesterday. In any event, these goods, be they brand new or sumptuous leftovers, were given in a box to the less fortunate, hence the name, Boxing Day! I do hope you get a bonus gift this Boxing Day.
Boxing Day in my time and culture is almost just as important as Christmas Day, in that it is a continuing of family get-togethers and yes indeed, another meal as big and if not bigger than Christmas Day has been served, incorporating most fully the tastier leftovers of Christmas Lunch! For the chefs of houses, the constant cookers at Christmas time, having the means to produce new dishes and reheat those of yesterday is very important then, so you will understand my disappointment of today, when late last night, I had to turn off the Aga because for some unknown reason, it was popping and overheating. I did of course turn it on again today, however because of its design, the Aga took some eight to ten hours to get up to usable heating speed. Yes indeed, the Aga, the Swedish “stored-heat stove and cooker” invented by Nobel Prize for Physics winner, industrialist, Dr Gustaf Dalén, is really more of a living creature, or more of a way of living than a cooker!
Now, although Acetylene was discovered in 1836 by Edmund Davy and was rediscovered in 1860 by French chemist Marcellin Berthelot, who in fact coined the name “acetylene”, it was in fact Dr Dalén, who whilst working with this most explosive of gases, invented Agamassan (Aga), a substrate of Acetylene, to absorb the gas itself and thereby allow safe storage and hence commercial exploitation. So, in 1906, the good Doctor became chief engineer at his Gas Accumulator Company (manufacturer and distributor of acetylene), which industrialised the gas and commercialised its use! Not only was acetylene used in small old-fashioned motor vehicle carbide lamps, but also in the vast setting of lighthouses! Indeed, many Dalén lamp lighthouses are still in operation today. It was his invention of the “solar flow control valve” that allowed the acetylene lamps used in sea buoys and unmanned lighthouse to automatically turn themselves off when it was daylight. This invention not only saved 80% of fuel but also got Dalén his Nobel Prize for Physics. It was his brother, a most famous ophthalmologist, who collected Dalén’s prize, because Dalén himself, had been injured and permanently blinded in an acetylene explosion earlier in the year. So, the man that discovered the brightest of lights in his time, was in fact made blind by it!
Whilst Dr Dalén was recovering at home, he was exposed to the vast amount of work his wife did in trying to prepare and cook for the family. From this now well-informed and well-cared-for position, whilst blind remember, he invented the Aga cooker! Dr Gustaf Dalén, a remarkable philanthropist sharing his Nobel Prize money with his staff, a great optimist and humanitarian, left inventions in the world which are still being used in both large-scale commercial arenas and in the home even today. What he discovered and utilised both hurt him and blinded him but it did not stop him being a blessing to his family and to others both in his own time and there on after. Admittedly, he had help from his family and friends but Dalén did not allow his handicap to destroy him. Did you get that?
Many of us are going into a New Year handicapped in some way. Maybe the handicap is all the more bitter because it was gained whilst trying to do good, whilst trying to pursue and utilise the light? As far as I can ascertain, Dalén was not a Christian but you are! The Father said to Israel, the apple of His eye, that He will bring them by a way and lead them in paths not previously known and in so doing, He will make the crooked places straight. This is a great promise for the New Year. Take it, it’s a bonus gift for you this Boxing Day.
Listen: “These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 NKJV
Pray: Lord, please be my Keeper, be my leader, be my light this coming year, in Jesus name I pray, amen!
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