A manufacturer placed thousands of tubes of toothpaste into individual boxes and prepared them for shipping every day.
Soon, the machinery started to malfunction somehow and some boxes arrived for shipping without anything in them.
The company’s owner hired a consulting team to come in and evaluate what and where the problem was, and determine what was needed to fix it.
The company spent $8 million after consultants investigated the problem, made recommendations and installed new machinery.
A retrofit discovered empty boxes by automatically weighing each box before it shipped. When an empty box hit the scale, it registered as being too light, an alarm sounded and all the plant’s machinery stopped so the empty box could be filled.
The system seemed to work well. The number of empty boxes diminished greatly, and the company’s CEO was pleased with the better numbers.
Soon, when no empty boxes arrived at shipping, the skeptical CEO investigated whether the numbers were correct.
When he got down to the production line he noticed a large fan blowing across the conveyor right before the belt reached the weigh station. On the other side of the belt was a large cardboard box that held a number of empty toothpaste boxes. When an empty box came along the conveyor belt, it would be so light the fan just blew it into the waiting box.
Asking who came up with that idea, the CEO was told it was the custodian, who got tired of having to reset the conveyor belt and all the machinery for every empty box.
Sometimes people think the big, fancy solution is the best.
We tend to forget that often the simple answer works even better.
Many folks try to make the Christian faith difficult. There is no need to because it is actually very simple.
God is our Creator. Jesus is our Redeemer. The Holy Spirit is God's power that works in us and through us.
Now, isn't that simple?
I think so.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview's pastor.