Last weekend I had the privilege of travelling down to Rochester, New York for a little holiday and to run a trail marathon. I found Rochester to be absolutely beautiful. Everything was so well kept up, and I loved seeing the old buildings. The World Headquarters of Kodak Eastman is in Rochester. The Kodak office complex is a series of interconnected buildings, with the stunning 19 story art deco Kodak tower in the heart of the complex at 343 State Street. It was originally built in 1914 with 16 stories. Three more stories were added in 1930.
My host Daniel shared a bit of background behind Kodak Eastman. They used to have 12,000 employees during their peak. Unfortunately with the way digital photography has taken off, they have had to slash their workforce down to 1,500 employees. Digital photography sadly ended up being a “missed opportunity” for Kodak. They invented the 1st digital camera in 1975. It was the size of a coffee maker and captured black-and-white images at a resolution of 10,000 pixels (0.1 Megapixels). You have to remember that was 1975, computer technology was very young. No one could ever imagine how it would changed the world. More energy and funding was put toward medical film imaging instead of digital photography. Kodak thought medical imaging was the way of the future. At the same time competitors were focusing on digital and ended up getting on the ground floor of this new technology. The 1st cameras I remember in the late 1990’s were 1.3 megapixels and priced way out of my budget. But many people were buying them up. In the end medical imaging switched over to becoming digital.
Pictures can say so much. I love looking back on those early family pictures when I was a child. We took so few pictures back then, but each one is cherished, and only have 2 or 3 family photos from all those years. Particularly with my dad dying when I was 15. In my own family, we got our 1st digital camera around 2002. Ten years later according to Samsung in 2012, 2.5 billion people in the world have a digital camera. Now with camera phones getting better all the time, compact digital cameras are on their way out.
How things change. But regardless, pictures are something that are loved and cherished. Pictures do say a lot. We carry our loved ones in our wallet. Or on our walls at home. Or on our desks at work. Or on our camera phones. Or we have our loved ones on our wallpaper on our computer. When the conversations turn about our families, we love pulling pictures out of our wallet, or showing them on our I Phones.
When I think of a verse like John 3:16, I get the image of God carrying a snapshot of myself on Him. I am that special to Him. And not just me, it is everyone. We are so special, that Jesus gave His life so we could have that relationship with God. Technology changes, but God never changes. What a comfort to know He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I am sure Kodak has regretted their missed opportunity with digital photography. But at the same time, I have a lot of respect for this company. They are still inventing new technologies. From commercial printing presses capable of printing 1000 feet per minute, to invisible ink that only shows up under ultraviolet light for fraud protection, these new technologies are found on their Milestones.
A lot of lessons can be found in our spiritual lives. With new technologies come new challenges. But also new opportunities. Am I taking advantage of these new opportunities of sharing God’s love, or am they missed opportunities. Technology changes, but God does not. Let us take every opportunity we have at hand to share Christ.