A while back, I completed The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton with Natalie Norton. As the authors state in the subtitle, starting something stupid is a great way to crush fear, make dreams happen and live without regret.
The author engages the reader by mixing stories and application. In an early chapter, he talks about the Jeff Bezos Test: “Will I regret it when I’m 80?” This is a question Jeff Bezos asked himself when he decided to leave Wall Street and pursue Amazon.com. Amazon.com looks like a smart idea today, but when it was first created, it was a pretty silly idea. Jeff Bezos didn’t want to look back at age 80 and regret not pursuing it.
The book has several other examples and makes its argument in an easy-to-read, yet impressive conversational style. Like me, I hope by reading it you will come away energized, encouraged, and fearless.
But over the last couple of years, as I’ve continued to think about the book, I do think the authors miss the greatest example of their point in the history of mankind. One “stupid” idea has provided the way for more people to crush fear, make dreams happen and live without regret more than any other: the “stupid” idea that God would come to earth in the form of man and suffer and die to restore our relationship with Him.
Many people, both people who follow Christ and those who do not, agree the Christian idea is “stupid.” Who would ever believe that God created Man and then gave us the power to abandon him, which we did at the very first opportunity (and continue to this day). Then, in his power and wisdom, instead of punishing us for our choice to turn from a relationship with Him, He paid the penalty for our sin by coming in the form of a man and suffering and dying for our sin. The Bible even claims God knew He’d have to do that. The idea, problem, and the plan to restore us all existed in God’s mind before Adam appeared and the idea was played out when Jesus died on the cross.
And to prove His point, God still makes stupid ideas work even to now. One of my favorite little pieces of the bible, in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 26-31, the author says:
For consider your calling brethren, that there were not many wise among you according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world to shame the strong and the base things and the despised… God has chosen the things that are not so that he might nullify the things that are, so that no man should boast before God.
God chooses to use stupid-looking people and ideas to confound the wise. He uses weak things to frustrate the strong. The great idea of the bible is that God is the answer for the problems of man. He is the creator of our life and we were created for a relationship with him. But we totally blew it the first chance we got. And as a result, what seems right to us is just about always wrong. What seems smart to us is just about always stupid in relation to the truth of God.
I enjoyed the book. Please read it. It is a great book to get you unstuck and moving toward making a great difference in the world. But when you’re done, take some time and get to know the man who is the central and only figure in the greatest original stupid idea. May I be stupid like Jesus any day… every day!