Which Actress? (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

“Which Hollywood actress invented a device that later became the basis for bluetooth and wifi technology? Your choices are: A. Elizabeth Taylor B. Marilyn Monroe C. Hedy Lamarr or D. Michele Pfieffer.”

I stared at my co-workers. We were playing our morning trivia game, asking our office smart device to provide a daily trivia question. This question caught all of us by surprise. In fact, we thought it was a joke. The only unfamiliar name was Hedy Lamarr so we blindly guessed that name. We were correct!

Actress Hedy Lamarr was a popular actress in the 1930’s, first gaining fame in Europe and then in Hollywood. When WWII began, she learned that the Germans were utilizing radio-controlled torpedoes with devastating effect on Allied ships. She also learned these torpedoes could be jammed, setting them off course. With another inventor, she patented an invention in 1942 known as frequency hopping. The U.S. Navy was aware of the invention, but they did not implement it. However, a later generation discovered her invention and this technology forms the basis for today’s bluetooth, wifi, and GPS technology.

Source: Wikipedia.

Why wasn’t her invention widely received? At that time, the U.S. Navy did not readily accept inventions submitted from non-military personnel, much less an actress. In addition, the technology was difficult to implement. Lamarr also had another strike against her, she was not an American citizen. Imagine, a ground breaking and disruptive technology was readily available but not utilized for decades. How would today’s world have been different if it had been adopted when it was first invented?

Sometimes God introduces radical and disruptive ideas from unexpected sources. One might expect God to choose an attorney or polished orator to proclaim His Word to His people. At times He did, but many other times, He chose people who seemingly had no qualifications and would have been otherwise ignored. The Prophet Amos was a sheepherder and farmer from Tekoa, a town in the middle of nowhere. When others questioned his credentials, he even admitted he had no formal training. Yet, he remained obedient to his calling from God. Were there people who ignored the message of Amos because they were prejudiced against his background or the harsh words of his prophecies? Undoubtedly. Yet, for those who listened, they were blessed and saved through their faith. It is a beautiful example of how God works in our lives. 

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NLT)

Like Hedy Lamarr’s invention, there are many ideas and profound messages that have been ignored because of prejudices and biases against the source. The message of Jesus Christ was ignored and ridiculed by many for these very same reasons. He was the son of a carpenter. He was not schooled in prestigious institutions. He may have been born out of wedlock. All these reasons and more prevent many from hearing and seeing the Truth that has the power to change lives and change the world. 

This is how God works in this world. This is how He can work in our lives. Allow Him to work in yours. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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