I was reminded yesterday of the statement by Daniel Burnham (1846- 1912), one of America’s most famous architects and urban planners. Speaking about the design for the city of Chicago he exhorted his colleagues:
“Think no small thoughts for they have no power to stir men’s souls!”
It occurred to me while reading Numbers 14 this morning that Burnham’s famous statement says something about how we conceive ministry vision. Because God delights to do exceedingly above all we could ever ask or think, we shouldn’t set our sights upon that which is manageable and reasonable; we must look higher, to thoughts and plans that can only be realized by the power of God.
Numbers 14:1-9 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?" 4 And they said to one another, "Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt."
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. 6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, "The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them."