Louis Pasteur: “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

On my last post I wrote about things that seemed accidental actually being a part of a plan. The believer who trusts in a God who wants to bring good to His people and Who loves them enough to be faithful until the plan is completed will be watching for sign posts along the way. My husband read me a story from the New York Times this past week of the death of Wilson Greatbatch. Mr. Greatbatch is credited with the invention of the pacemaker of the heart. in 1956, when he was an assistant professor in electrical engineering at the University of Buffalo building a heart rhythm recording device for the Chronic Disease Research Institute there, he reached into a box of parts for a resistor to complete the circuitry. The one he pulled out was the wrong size, and when he installed it, the circuit it produced emitted intermittent electrical pulses.

Now most of us hearing such sputtering may have gotten annoyed at the size mismatch and given a deep sigh as we trudged to get the “right” battery, but Mr. Greatbatch hearkened to the sound of the oversized battery. I mean he really listened. That sound took him back to the days when he thought about the electrical circuitry of the heart as he worked in an animal behavior laboratory as an undergraduate at Cornell in 1951. This got him to thinking about a man-made device that could help the heart in need of some new wiring…By 1960 he placed the first pacemakers in 10 human subjects. Today a half million people depend on pacemakers for quality of life.

I got to thinking…didn’t the same thing occur to Alexander Fleming when he saw a bit of mold in one of his bacteria-laden petri dishes? All around the mold there were no bacteria. Dr. Fleming could have shrugged it off or worse, blamed the mold for contaminating his petri dishes, but he had a prepared mind. As Dr. Fleming himself stated in his Nobel Speech given December 11, 1945:

In my first publication I might have claimed that I had come to the conclusion, as a result of serious study of the literature and deep thought, that valuable antibacterial substances were made by moulds and that I set out to investigate the problem. That would have been untrue and I preferred to tell the truth that penicillin started as a chance observation. My only merit is that I did not neglect the observation…

Oh, my friends, I do not want to neglect the observation. We who call ourselves Christians would do well to go into our day with prepared minds. This is the Year of Now for me. I want to really see each moment and know what it is saying. Andrea Dawn says,

“Every happening great and small is a parable by which God speaks to us and the art of life is to get the message.

I really want to get the message today and every day.

Reading the Word and praying,

Dawn

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9 comments on “Louis Pasteur: “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

  1. Dawn, I loved this post so much! Thank you for all you put here, as I needed this. Most of my life, I’ve been shot down and called everything from “whacky” to being a “Melancholic Mystic,” all because I tried to see life from God’s point of view and to see Him in everything that happened in, to, and around me. Even in the Christian community I have found those that believe firmly that life just “happens,” that it rains on the just and the unjust, and that crap happens, no matter who or what you believe in. The only difference is, Christians have a hope of eternity and the nonChristian does not. In my usual, “is this truth or isn’t it” type of search mode, I came to the conclusion that this just did not fit into Jesus’ words that, “I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.” If he had stopped at just having life. . . . maybe. But the “more abundantly” threw me over the edge, and I knew that there was more to my everyday happenings than just happening. Maybe the world sees me as weird as I gaze at a sycamore tree or watch squirrels gather acorns, but I don’t want to miss a thing. I really like Andrea Dawn’s quote. I just want to get the message. What a disappointing thing it would be to get to Heaven one day and find out that “I just didn’t get it.”

  2. Dear Cora,

    I chuckled when I read the last sentence, “What a disappointing thing it would be to get to Heaven one day and find out that “I just didn’t get it.” Yes, that would be disappointing. I loved Ann’s Helen Keller post today where she describes all the pleasure she gets through touch and wonders what it would be like to really see. She is correct, I think, in saying that those of us with eyes seem to be blinded by seeing. Perhaps there is too much to really appreciate any one thing. She made some very good points.

    It’s pouring down rain here again today. I haven’t gotten any pictures taken this week yet. I must get on with it. Perhaps it will not happen this week. I am really tired from getting my application together for this job. I finally was able to compress the files to submit everything electronically like they wanted me to do. I learned a lot, but I lost a lot of fun time. I have a window of time here before I teach a parenting class tonight. I think my pups and I will play a bit.

    Waiting for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords,
    Dawn

  3. God has wired us so marvelously … some are science minded, some teachers, some ministers of God’s word, or given to service, and the list goes on… and as the giftings and talents are spread about, so are the blessings as we touch each other’s lives.
    I love your post today and of course your reference to Andrea Dawn’s Art of life; God’s Spirit miraculously awakens us to His workings, to His character, and if we are ready, (prepared), to those areas whereby our talents or giftings might bless others.
    http://www.wimp.com/obviousyou/
    we should not be afraid to share what is on our hearts and minds… there might be a blessing for somebody! And may God be glorified.
    thanks again for the wonderful post!

      • Dear Susan,

        I LOVED the wimp site. Thanks for sharing that with me. You are such a dear! I did have fun with my pups. I went outside with Mickey. He was mud from head to toe. I should have taken a picture of him, vines in his ears, brown muddy water running off his tummy and his feet soaked. Shelley and I played fetch in the house and I held the blind, deaf and quickly tired elderly gentledog, Sebastian. You know it was the best of times. I then went to teach my WONDERFUL 4 couples that had signed up for my course “Happiest Baby on the Block.” I just finished eating chocolate ice cream while sharing Brazil nuts with Mickey and Shelly. They LOVE them and I love chopping them up for them and then I hand-feed them so they don’t choke. Yea! selenium!

        I love replying to you because I know you care about every word. Love you, Blessed SIster,
        Dawn

  4. I’m taking a break from cutting and wrapping our first calf yearling ever in 30 years! I was so hesitant to begin and had to persuade myself that it is just a bigger version of our every third year goat buck I cut and wrap. So, checking your blog is my break, and my husband sat beside me for the first time and I could introduce him to you and your life via cyberspace; that was so much fun! He really enjoyed himself!
    I just wanted to say that you had me smiling with the part of Mickey being mud from head to toe, vines in his ears, muddy water running off his tummy…I just love the time you take to ‘love’ your husband, to love your animals, to love your class couples, to love the people around you that are wounded, flooded, hurting… You are such a jewel and radiant for our Lord… I think he is smiling too! Hugs to old Sebastion, Shelley, and Mickey….and, yay for selenium!

  5. Hi Dawn . . . I really enjoyed your post and thanks for the mention. I love what you said about watching for sign posts along the way . . . that is, I believe, a vital part of discerning and cooperating with His good plans for us. Cora’s comment about gazing at trees and watching squirrels gather acorns made me smile and reminded me that we are a “peculiar people”. As new creations, we have the ability to see what others don’t, to hear the sounds of heaven. Oh, that we WOULD stop more often to gaze at trees or listen to the rain . . . to notice when we see the same scripture over and over in the course of a few days, or if, in our daily travels, we find that every intersection we come to the light turns yellow we would ask if we were being cautioned about something. Tuning our ears and hearts to hear and training our eyes to see is an indication that we anticipate God speaking to us, that our heart’s and minds are prepared to receive what He wants to give us.

    I watched the clip from wimp.com also and that is so much how I feel at times . . . “why didn’t I think of that?” But I have been encouraged by you and many others, (family, friends, bloggers) that sharing my gifts through my words and pictures is exactly what I am supposed to do. Another quote on the subject that I think is so perfect is “be who you are, everyone else is already taken”.

    It is really precious to me to discover more and more of who you are through your writing and responses and that applies to Susan and Cora and others as well. I need you all to be who you are and I love who you are.

    LIstening to the rain, Andrea Dawn

  6. Dear Andrea Dawn,

    It is so very true that we need to be who we are. What would be our purpose if we were just who someone else was? God is more creative than that. I have grown so much in awareness in the little time I have known you. You see so very deeply and have such an introspective mind. You hear God in everything and I want to know what you hear because I (to quote Cora) “don’t get it” sometimes. You walk intimately with God in the now. I want to do that more. You model that for me. You, along with Susan and Cora, teach me every day. It’s like I come by here or down YOUR cyber-street and I just pick up jewels like I would pick up seashells at the beach. Sometimes there are way too many for me to get in one pass so I go back several times, each time gathering something new. The comments help me see yet even more things (a la wimp.com).

    Soooo, now the big question…did you get all the scavenger hunt prompts done? I am way behind. I still have two to get. I can’t wait to see yours! It’s 2:30 am. I better get to bed. I was just so needing to write since I was preoccupied all week. The fingers needed to tap and when God tells them to tap, you’d better tap according to Danelle. She’s another one whose advice I don’t take lightly.

    Loving growing together,
    Dawn

    • Regarding the scavenger hunt, I do have one for each category, but one is an archived photo and a couple I am not really settled on, but I have some ideas. Just need the time to execute the plan. It has been a very busy week for me, but it should slow down now. As well there are 5 different posts I am trying to get ready for . . . 5 Minute Friday (today), a new WORD pictures, Scavenger Hunt, Multitudes on Monday and a special post about my mother.
      Hope you rested well . . . look forward to seeing your scavenger hunt photos.
      Hugs, Andrea Dawn

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