It’s called the “broken window theory”.
A few years back I was introduced to this theory when I read Malcolm Gladwell’s classic book The Tipping Point and it is based on a great biblical principle of what to do when faced with a problem that seems insurmountable or odds that appear overwhelming.
Gladwell tells about an urban area where violent crime, drug dealing and prostitution ruled the streets. No one knew where to even start in addressing the out of control situation. So it was suggested that they begin by fixing the broken windows. Most viewed the suggestion akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as it took on water and listed ever more perilously on it’s side. Nevertheless…the repair of the broken windows seemed to send a message that anarchy is no longer the rule of the day. And that small start had a domino effect that actually substantially lowered crime rates.
Thus “The Broken Window Theory”…big goals can be reached with small starts. Politicians had a big goal: reduce crime. They started small: fix broken windows. Sometimes God does the biggest things with the smallest starts. Sometimes 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish feeds thousands. Sometimes a boy and his slingshot turn the tide of a whole war. Sometimes a banquet stops a genocide. Sometimes the problem is we don’t dream big enough. Sometimes the problem is we aren’t willing to start small enough.
So…has God put a big dream in your heart? Don’t wait until you have all you need. Start. Take what you have, do what you can and trust God for the rest. Fix a window…say I’m sorry…show up…open the account…call the counselor…ask…read a chapter in the Gospels…write a paragraph…take a baby step…just start. Sometimes a big dream without a small start is just a daydream.
What “broken window” can you go fix today?