God would have flunked West Point.
With a walled city and its skilled army blocking your path, what’s your strategy? March around it for seven days then blow your trumpet. The walls will tumble down.
Yet there’s something both wise and refreshing in this old tale told around Hebrew campfires.
I’ve spent my life in churches developing strategies for God’s kingdom. Vision and mission statements. Long range plans. Communication plans. Task forces, goals, metrics. Key objectives. Leadership development. Capital campaigns.
But in the end, what knocks down the walls? A Go Fund Me established for a child with leukemia. A meal brought over to a family whose mother is undergoing chemo. A “sneakers with soul” drive providing shoes for inner city kids.
There’s something very powerful about letting God focus on the big stuff while we’re faithful in the small. Obeying the tugs on our hearts. Drying tears. Filling stomachs. Putting Skechers on children’s feet.
This is all silly when you look at big goals, the kingdom breaking in, etc. Yet maybe it frees up God by moving us out of the way. Too often religious people speak for God when they should spend their time being quiet (like the Hebrew marchers) and simply obeying. Our words and ego sabotage.
If we focus on the small, what-looks-silly stuff, then we might be surprised at how the larger things take care of themselves. We might be surprised at how the walls crack because their foundations are weakening by the parade of silent, faithful people.
The Hebrews marched themselves into a cohesive community. The redundancy of footsteps, following the divine irrationality, brought them together. They shared anticipation as well as obedience.
Amazing what God does through people doing silly things.