Caleb Versus the Minimum

I am always puzzled by people who lack vision, people who are content as to what they are and where they are. It is something I find hard to understand. Maybe I was dropped on my head!

Yet, it seems most people are just content with where they are.

“Please do not ask us to stretch further.”

“Please do not ask us to be world changers. We have come this far. Surely that is enough.”

They are, what I call, “Minimum people.”

“What is the least we can do just to get by?”

Maybe it’s that bump on my head why I find it hard to understand.

Yes, of course, there are entrepreneurs out there. Thank God for that! Unfortunately, they are not the majority. 

Many are like the people I started work with when I left school, working in a large company.  Finishing time was five o'clock and boy oh boy at two minutes to five, they were queuing at the clock out, card in hand, ready to punch it the moment that hand on the clock moved to five.  I found the work exciting and often stayed behind because I was in the middle of some company project. Every day they would shout, “Why are you doing that? It's nearly five o'clock!” I am sure they thought I was mad. I thought they were boring and lived in a microscopic world.

The problem is I see it today, and I am still struggling to understand that approach to life.  It irritates me in our school program when I have seen teachers say things like, “That is too hard for them!” or, “Oh dear! That is too much work for them.”

I prefer the words of Dr Donald Howard, also an educator, who used to say, "Most people can do more than they thought they could do because someone else thought they could do it."

It was a privilege to lecture, along with my wife, on the subject of, “Practical Leadership,” to some of the future leaders of our country. What did bother me though, was the personal question afterwards, these high flying youngsters, some with at least two degrees under their belts, said, "Please help me. I don't know what I want to do. I do not seem to have any vision for the future."

No vision for the future? Don't know where you are going? Find someone with vision, who does know where they are going - and join with them.  That is still my today answer.

Throughout most of my life, people have cried, concerning projects, “It cannot be done.” Often, the problem has been that I had already done it because I was too stupid to know it couldn't be done.

The other thing I hear a lot is, “Surely that is enough!”  My reply? “The worst enemy of better is very good. Of course, it is not enough!”

I like the words of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford motor company in answer to, “It’s impossible!” “I refuse to recognize the existence of impossibilities. I don't know anyone who knows enough about any subject to be able to say that something is or is not impossible. If someone who takes himself for an expert and declares that such and such a thing is impossible, right away there's a horde of nincompoops who sing the chorus: 'It’s impossible…” Henry Ford.

I love the story of Caleb in the Old Testament part of the Bible. He must have been in his eighties when he went to the leaders and said, “I know I am getting on, but I want more. Give me this mountain, and I will take it.”  The leaders understood the vision and said, “Get on with it.” He did and took it.

 

Joshua 14:6-12 The Old Testament part of the Bible

The people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite spoke: "You’ll remember what God said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me back at Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of God sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land. And I brought back an honest and accurate report. My companions who went with me discouraged the people, but I stuck to my guns, totally with God, my God. That was the day that Moses solemnly promised, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance, you and your children’s, forever. Yes, you have lived totally for God.’ Now look at meGod has kept me alive, as he promised. It is now forty-five years since God spoke this word to Moses, years in which Israel wandered in the wilderness. And here I am today, eighty-five years old! I’m as strong as I was the day Moses sent me out. I’m as strong as ever in battle, whether coming or going. So, give me this hill country that God promised me. You yourself heard the report that the Anakim were there with their great fortress cities. If God goes with me, I will drive them out, just as God said.”

 

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