"Everything that can be invented has been invented," declared Charles H. Duell, the U.S. Commissioner of Patents. That was in 1899.
Horace Rackham was advised by a president of the Michigan Savings Bank not to invest in the Ford Motor Company in 1903. "The horse is here to stay," he predicted, "but the automobile is only a novelty — a fad." Fortunately for Rackham, Henry Ford's attorney, he ignored the banker's short-sightedness and bought $5,000 worth of stock. He sold it several years later for $12.5 million.
In rejecting an aspiring band in 1962, Decca Records made this fearless prophecy about its future in music. "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out." Thus the company passed on signing the Beatles.
"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home," said the president and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation in 1977.
Clifford Roberts, founder of golf's prestigious Masters Tournament, once said, "As long as I'm alive, golfers will be white, and caddies will be black." He clearly didn't have the prescience to foresee either the Civil Rights Movement or Tiger Woods' domination of the professional tour.
Humility will always be in order for us as we try to anticipate what lies ahead. But are there no certainties about tomorrow? Is there nothing on which to anchor our hope? Here are a couple of promises to keep in mind in these stressful times.
Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39).
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you through it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
If you want some confidence about the future, focus your attention on the one person who actually knows something about it.