Nov 7, 2008

Thousands of uses and counting

During World War II, the military used the first generation of duct tape. This versatile product has a fascinating history. It was invented by Johnson and Johnson, makers of other medical supplies. Not surprisingly, it is a derivative of medical tape. During WWII it was used to keep moisture out of ammunition boxes. Because it has the ability to repel water, just like a duck, soldiers referred to it as "duck tape".  But there is another reason for the name. It was also made from the cotton duck Johnson and Johnson used in their medical tapes. But however it was named, soldiers found out that it could be used to fix just about anything. When the war ended soldiers started using it at home. The color changed from army green to the silver we all know. It has become a staple in most households. Now it is called "duct tape". Perhaps this is because one of its major uses is to tape the joints of air conditioning ducts.


I ran out a few months ago, so I went to the local Ace Hardware store to get a roll. It's expensive stuff!  But you should never be caught without your duct tape. It can fix just about anything. Duct tape has become part of our culture. My daughter once made a wallet for me out of the stuff. It was quite stylish. I read about a couple who made their wedding garments out of duct tape. They used silver, black and pink duct tape. Even their shoes were made of duct tape.


Believe it or not, there is a website devoted to duct tape users. People can post their stories describing their creative uses of duct tape. Most of the stories are normal ...things like fixing appliances or repairing hoses. But others are quite interesting. People have used it to repair musical instruments. It can be used as wrapping paper (although this would be much too expensive, if you ask me). One gentleman put duct tape all over his car and turned it from rusty brown to shiny silver. Many people described using it as a medical bandage when the real stuff couldn't be found. I am always fascinated at how some things come full circle.


But United Airlines found an interesting use for the stuff this week. An FBI agent was transporting a prisoner when the ankle cuffs kept slipping off. Since the prisoner was becoming unruly, the airlines had no choice. They looked around for a solution to the problem and found guessed it- a roll of duct tape! It took awhile to tape the prisoner to the seat, but it worked. This episode sparked my imagination for ideas about my own arsenal of parenting tools.


But while duct tape can be used for just about everything, it cannot be used for everything. It cannot repair broken hearts. It cannot repair lives torn by sin. For that, you need Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.




Pastor David Hook

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