Do you love new products or new technology? Would you call yourself an early adopter? Investopedia defines an early adopter as, “An individual or business who uses a new product or technology before others.” Early adopters are often mavens – trusted experts in a particular field, who seek to pass knowledge on to others. Companies market to early adopters for a variety of reasons, including their ability to quickly impact market penetration by passing on their knowledge or experiences to others. I have a friend who is an early adopter. He has an uncanny ability to get us (mostly my husband) hyped up about new stuff, especially electronic devices and cars. Remember when the Garmin first came out? He had one. Think he’s pre-ordered every new iphone model? He has. His wife and I still giggle when we think about the Hummer he just had to have. Fortunately that one never really caught on with the rest of us…what an awful vehicle!
While early adopters are an important piece of an Innovation Adoption Curve, successful products need much deeper market penetration to get to sustainability (and actually make money). Why? Early adopters often possess a “what have you done for me lately” attitude. They are always in search of the latest and greatest thing – new technology, new features, new colors. They are on to the next big thing before the last one ever even comes close to mainstream.
As I reflect on the Israelites’ journey in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers I think about their “what have you done for me lately” attitude. Remember Exodus 16:1-2? …on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. God rescued the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. He miraculously parted the Red Sea, overtook their enemies, and led them safely to freedom on the other side. Less than two months later, they were already grumbling…what have you done for me lately God?
Think about Exodus 25 when Moses and Joshua went up the mountain to get instruction from God. They were gone so long (40 days) that the Israelites became impatient. By Chapter 32, they were wondering…what have you done for me lately God? They took matters into their own hands and built themselves a golden calf to worship. When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:1).
As we get to Deuteronomy 8 today, Moses is warning the second generation of Israelites about the consequences of having this “what have you done for me lately” attitude. He starts with the word “remember”. As if to say, look back before you move forward. Don’t forget your foundation. God sustained your forefathers for forty years, you wouldn’t be here without him, don’t be tempted to go this alone. The consequences are grave.
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years (Deuteronomy 8:2-4).
If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 8:19-20).
Think about your life today. Are you in this for the long haul or are you wondering what God has done for you lately? Are you relying on your firm foundation or do you find yourself asking God to prove himself to you?
Today, may I gently remind you of Jesus? Jesus is always the answer to what God has done for you lately.
But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).