After referencing the many predictions for the unfolding year, most of which have to do with impending economic and/or ecological disaster, Mr. Beshore reminds us that “highly respected thought leaders have always incorrectly predicted the future”.
Ultimately, Mr. Beshore argues that the future is not written in stone. The outcome is not inevitable. So we need to be careful about falling prey to the naysayers, for these people always have been and always will be with us. Perhaps the best reason to ignore them, he says, is that history shows us that the most promising breakthroughs have always been met with high levels of skepticism.
To help block out the naysayers, he then goes on to list his “Top 12 Most Spectacular Failed Predictions” as glaring examples. For my part, I want to repost them here today.
1. “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” - Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
2. “Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.” - Dr. Lee DeForest, Inventor of the TV.
3. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” - Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
4. “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” - Bill Gates, 1981.
5. “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” - Yale University management professor critiquing Fred Smith’s paper proposing what became FedEx.
6. “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” - Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.
7. “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” - Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.
8. “Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” - Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872.
9. “If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.” - National Cancer Institute, 1954.
10. “Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.” - Grover Cleveland, U.S. President in 1905.
11. “I’d shut [Apple] down and give the money back to the shareholders.” - Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell, Inc., 1997.
12. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” - Western Union Internal Memo, 1876.
Mr. Beshore concludes his article by reminding us that, as it is often said, “haters gonna hate.” Some people are just going to be negative. It is a given in life. So accept it. But don't stop there.
He then states, “When someone tells you that you can’t do it, remember these quotes, charge forward, and just focus on making it happen. Cheers to an innovative and productive (new year).
I wholeheartedly concur with his admonition. As believers, it will always be important to remember that God has a very specific future in store for each and every one of us. The message that the Prophet Jeremiah once shared with the Children of Judah when they were in captivity in ancient Babylon is as applicable to us today as it was to God’s people over 2500 years ago (29:11-14):
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
It may just be that 2013 did not quite turn out the way you had planned. Looking back, you may have gotten a bit off course, or perhaps even become captive to some situation or substance. As a result, like the people of God so long ago, you may now find yourself in bondage in some proverbial Babylon. But, praise God that does not have to be the end of the story!
You see, in Jeremiah’s day, as the people of Judah sat languishing in captivity in Babylon, an all pervasive attitude of doom and gloom prevailed. The naysayers abounded, as they repeatedly declared that Judah was now finished, that all hope was lost, and that God's people had no future.
And yet, even though many people doubted it at the time, Jeremiah’s prophecy did in fact come true. After seventy years, the people of Judah were released from captivity, just as suddenly as they had been taken into it.
The Persian Empire overthrew the Babylonians. This new superpower then allowed the Jews to return to their home land. In short order, God’s people had rebuilt His temple, Jerusalem’s city walls, and their own homes. In so doing, they rebuilt their lives and their future.
So, remember, as the Apostle Peter tells us, "the Lord is not slack concerning His promises" (2 Peter 3:9, KJV). He will do that which He says He will do. Of this, you can be certain. And because of this, we can believe in the truthfulness and relevance of Jeremiah 29:11 even today.
Thus, my prayer for you is that the coming year will be a better one than the last. In short, that tomorrow will be better then yesterday. And also that God will show you the future He has in store for you, as well as the path He would have you to travel in order to realize that future.
As He does, I hope you will choose to believe and follow Him, and not the naysayers. For I assure you that He, and not any of them, knows the future. He alone not only knows it; He alone controls it. And He wants to give it to us. Amen.