Staying Thankful in the midst of a Thankless Generation

We are living in the year 2008. Did you know that 100 years ago there was not one single air conditioner in existence? The air conditioner was not invented until 1902 and then took many years to perfect until it could be mass produced. I think many people believe air conditioning was around in the Middle Ages.

1947 marked the year in which window air conditioners were first mass produced. There were a few before 1947, but one had to be very wealthy or have good connections to get one. Once air conditioners began showing up in windows all across America, the willingness to move to areas of intense heat and humidity grew also. There is little doubt that the only reason cities such as Phoenix and Las Vegas have grown like they have is due to air conditioning.

After working outside in 100 heat, there is something extremely wonderful about opening the door and walking into a home that is 77 degrees. One would never think that 20 degrees makes much difference, but it does when the humidity is pulled out. Any of us who live in climates prone to excessive heat and/or humidity understand the significance of and are extremely thankful for the air conditioner.

1939 marked the first year of the first air conditioner in a car. By 1969 only one half of all cars had air conditioning. Most of us can remember the first car we got which had air conditioning and it was cause for great celebration. It was only in the 1970’s and beyond that air conditioning in vehicles became the norm instead of the exception.

The same technology in air conditioning is used in refrigeration. After attempting to perfect the process, in 1915 a refrigerator was placed in a house. It was huge, very inefficient and used ammonia to cool with; but at least the door was opened for people to have a way to keep their food cool without ice. By 1922 there were a few refrigerators for sale, but not many buyers. The average cost for a new refrigerator back then was $714. At the same time, a brand new Model T automobile cost $450.

In 1930 freon was invented which ushered in the refrigerator we all know. By late in the 1930’s the price had come down and more and more homes had a refrigerator and fewer and fewer were still using the old ice box. About the only people sad to see the end of ice boxes were the men who used to deliver huge blocks of ice to be chopped up and placed in the old boxes.

When you look back at when things were invented, it has to be understood that it took years of research, hard work and money to ever perfect the invention and production of it so that it could be mass marketed and end up in people’s homes or work places. Here are the dates of just some of the things invented early in the 20th century. It took years for some of these products to reach the common person.

1. Escalator—invented in 1900

2. Radio receiver—1901

3. Vacuum cleaner—1901

4. Air conditioner—1902

5. Airplane—1903

6. Tractor—1904

7. Cornflakes—1906

8. Color photo—1907

9. Model T—1908

10. Talking motion picture—1910

11. Crossword puzzle—1913

12. Bra—1913

13. Zipper—1913

14. Stainless steel—1916

15. Multi station radio receiver–1916

16. Bandaid—1920

17. Insulin—1922

18. Penicillin-1928

19. Frozen food process—1930

20. Analog computer–1930

Too many times we take way too much for granted. We live in homes with central heat and air keeping the temperature the same night and day. We have electricity whenever we want and need it. We can turn on radios, televisions and computers and have instant access to entertainment, news, sports and weather any minute of the day or night. We have phones that we take with us everywhere and GPS units to keep us from getting lost.

It is just too easy to fall into the complaining trap in America. We need to snap out of it and take stock of all we have and thank God for the unbelievable privilege it is to live at this time in this country with all that is available to almost everyone. There is absolutely no Godly reason to have any other attitude in our hearts than one of extreme thankfulness for all we have and can use on a daily basis.

If somebody disconnected all the electricity in the world today; and there was no way to power all the cool gadgets and inventions we use all day—could you still be thankful? If there was no running water, flush toilets or hot water heaters—could you still be thankful? If there was no television, radio, computer or phones of any kind—could you still be thankful? If there was no cars, trucks or SUVs to drive and no buses or trains or planes to pay to travel on—could you still be thankful?

If it gets to be 100 degrees and there were no air conditioners or fans anywhere—could you still be thankful? If there were no refrigerators to keep your food cold and no freezers to keep your ice cream in—could you still be thankful? If there were no way to receive news, sports or weather except by word of mouth—could you still be thankful? If all you had was the roof over your head, clothes on your body and food in your stomach—could you still be thankful?

99% of Americans would be extremely miserable if they were deprived of even one thing mentioned. Honestly, most people’s day is ruined the minute the electricity goes out during a storm. We should really try to keep the attitude of gratitude NO MATTER WHAT happens or doesn’t happen around us and to us. God has truly blessed us more than we could ever know, but those who had to live without all our conveniences DO KNOW.

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