Take a careful look at this picture. Do you have any idea what you are looking at? I purposefully gave the original name in the title so as not to give away the answer. Put the mechanism shown in the picture in a rectangular plastic box that is about an inch and a half thick. Fill the box with aluminum powder. Static electricity causes the powder to cling to a 5×7 plastic screen. A 2D plotter mechanism scrapes the powder away, controlled by two knobs. What is the more common name of our retro-toy?
The Etch A Sketch.
The Etch A Sketch was invented by Frenchman André Cassagnes in the late 1950s and marketed in France as the L’Écran Magique. It was introduced at a toy fair in Nuremberg, Germany in 1959 where Ohio Art saw it for the first time. Surprisingly, it was not love at first sight for Ohio Art and they passed on it. However, after seeing the toy a second time, Ohio Art decided to take a chance. By Christmas of 1960, the Etch A Sketch was the hot ticket item.
Originally, the toy came with a glass screen. Consumer advocate groups got several government agencies involved to push Ohio Art to make a safer product. By November 1970, the glass had been replaced with plastic.
Inside the Etch A Sketch are small polystyrene beads that mix with the aluminum powder. When the artist is finished with their creation, they merely flip the Etch A Sketch over and start shaking. The beads help to smooth the powder back on to the screen, giving you a brand-new silver “canvas” on which to work. A lifetime of drawing is possible with the Etch A Sketch.
Let’s compare our life to an Etch A Sketch. The moment we trusted Jesus as our Savior, the Lord completely cleaned the screen, giving us a brand-new life. Psalms 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” And, Hebrews 10:17 reminds us that “… their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
It isn’t long, though, before black lines of sin are traced upon our lives when we choose to disobey the Lord. Just as the plotter moves across the Etch A Sketch screen, sin plots a course on our life. What are we going to do?
In 1 John 1:9, we read, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The person who has drawn all over their Etch A Sketch will shake the device vigorously. The person who barely made a mark will only have to give it a little jiggle to get it cleaned.
The Lord has made a promise that if we would confess our sins, He would cleanse us. Depending on how many lines there are will lead to how hard we must be shaken to “clean the slate.” Make no mistake. God is quite capable of shaking very hard in order to get our attention.
The Lord desires our lives to be clean and free of marks. The blemishes of sin must be dealt with swiftly and completely. We need to keep the screen clean to avoid some aggressive shaking!