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  • Michael W. Newman

World Dryers or Dyson Airblades?

Berkeley, Illinois is the home of the World Dryer Corporation. The company makes those handy hand dryers you’re forced to use in restrooms when you really want a wad of paper towels to dry your hands.

I spent the first dozen years of my life in Berkeley, Illinois, passing by the World Dryer headquarters regularly. It was down the street from the baseball field my friends and I commandeered for spontaneous games of hardball during the summers. Every time I dry my hands with a World Dryer, my childhood comes rushing back. It’s been a comfort and joy to see my little hometown mentioned in bathrooms around the nation and world.

But, enter the Dyson Airblade. This new technological wonder may be priced less than the World Dryer product, or it may just be a slick and new fad. Instead of rubbing your hands together slowly under the good old World Dryer, the Dyson gizmo has you place your hands in its open jaws as a blast of Dyson air annihilates the water on your freshly washed hands. The moisture is blasted off your skin, allegedly drying them in record time. But I’ve seen what a Dyson Airblade really does. The water flies off your hands, drips to the bottom of the whirring air machine and runs onto the bathroom floor.

You might be wondering, “What is the point of all this?” Well, it’s about change. World Dryers have been around a long time. They’re not as slick or exciting as the Dyson product. So, in an effort to upgrade and keep up with the times, commercial institutions may be scrapping their old World Dryers for shiny twenty-first-century space-age Airblades. They don’t work as well, but a new generation needs a new drying mechanism.

Sometimes new things do not work as well as the old, but we have to embrace the new for the sake of a new generation. I’m not saying we should scrap sound and non-negotiable principles and beliefs. After all, hand washing is not up for debate. But even if a new innovation isn’t as sound and steady as the tried and tested method, practice or tool we’ve used, we may need to be willing to give a bit for the sake of a greater cause.

The Apostle Paul said, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). Was Paul capitulating and caving in? Was he compromising the true confession of faith and the veracity of God’s Word? No. He was reaching people who didn’t know Jesus.

I’ve been washing my hands for over half a century. Be assured, I’m not going to stop. And because I’m confident in my handwashing convictions, I’m willing to use the Dyson Airblade so a new generation will be brought along in the beauty that is clean hands.

How is God’s Spirit leading you to sacrifice so the new generation can be blessed?

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