Innovation is simply seeing out ahead of the present, identifying a need and creating a unique way to meet it. The problem usually comes in the first part of that definition. When we try to see out ahead, sometimes we have moments of amazing clarity and see things as they will become. Other times we miss it entirely. Still other times we think our vision will happen more quickly than it does.
More and more I have been focusing on the process of innovation in the lives of those involved. We usually judge an innovation as successful by what it accomplishes in financial return or human progress. But what if we were to begin measuring how it changes the innovator? I think you would find a much lower rate of failure among innovative efforts if one of the prime criterion's for success was the growth and development of the innovator.
The term "means of grace" refers to an activity that is part of the process that Jesus uses to reclaim our hearts and grow us closer to Him. Any activity can be a means of grace if God chooses to use it that way.
But I think that innovations are very likely to be used as tools by our Heavenly Father because innovative efforts require risk and great effort. In those moments of innovation we are extremely vulnerable and our protective layers are peeled away as we strive and struggle to accomplish the task in front of us.
In those moments, Jesus can show us many things. He can grow us up, tackle self-deception, give us new insights, and so on. So here is the question. If you are in a time of innovation in your life, are you offering this unique time of your life up to God and asking Him to grow you close to Him as you work? I would challenge you to consider that approach to your efforts and you may just find that even if your innovation never makes it to prime time, that you have gained more eternal benefit than you could ever imagine