I awakened with an epiphany. Indeed, it was inspiration meets ideology compounded by incentive. The dream could become reality. The course of action from revelation to manifestation was just a few steps of creativity.
It was my daughter-in-law’s birthday, and I had been musing upon what I could get for her. Then the idea struck. She and my son have a pool in their back yard. I could buy small patio companion tables and aggrandize the table tops with ceramic tiles. The ceramic would come from broken pieces of china that belonged to my mother and my husband’s mother. Grandmothers’ china enshrined and encased for posterity and functionality – what a marvelous idea!
Finding the tables was easy. Collecting the family heirloom dishes was effortless. Deciding how to dismantle china plates into china pieces created a little more of an obstacle, but willpower and a hammer did the trick! Next came the assembly phase, which amounted to rebuilding each plate in a mosaic masterpiece while leaving room for the grout.
The final product did not exactly match the ideological dream. There was too much grout and not enough plate. Some elevations of the dish pieces were too high causing the surface top to be uneven and thus unstable to balance a plate or cup. It was neither pretty nor practical. What happened? Where did I err?
Any good engineering or manufacturing guru would have advised me to make a prototype. I should have taken worthless dishes and practiced various techniques of breakage. I should have mounted the try-out pieces on disposable cardboard. I could have even done an Internet search to study someone else’s modus operandi for the break-a-plate-to-make-a-mosaic-skill. Yeah, the ‘should have,’ ‘could have,’ and ‘wish I would have’ lament was at full measure.
God has given mankind the ability to take dreams and to create a world in which those dreams become reality. We all have creative skills, imaginative capabilities, and reconstructive potential. However, we do not have omniscience, which is a God-exclusive attribute to be all-knowing. He made the whole created order by immutable wisdom and then judged by saying, “it is good.” The knowledge we apply in our creations comes from postulating a theory that must be proven through systematic testing methods. What cannot be proven to be false can be validated to be true. We think and try, re-think and re-try, re-postulate and re-make. We work out our miscalculations on our prototypes. After multiple attempts, we can sometimes say “it is good.” If not, we say “I wish I had known then what I know now.”
Whether dealing in the arena of pool-side décor, rocket launches into outer space, advances in medicine, or gigantic government programs, the wisdom of building a prototype is non-negotiable for mankind. Only the arrogant, the ignorant, or the egotistical can boast that ideology meets reality without testing the postulations. All in all, the impact of my lack of foresight was minimal. However, some philosophical and economic experiments on culture may just destroy the heirlooms of our Constitution unless those who have the power to make socially-demolishing and culturally-restructuring decisions slow down long enough to prove the rhetoric through prototypes.