But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for
“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”
19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”
20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
“I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
I am prone not to tilt at windmills – unlike Don Quixote. He would ride his mule and joust with windmills in a futile attempt to conquer or prove his own metal. I am pretty well committed to avoiding such foolishness. There is obviously no point in taking on a task that is impossible or foolish. But sometimes daring to dream the impossible dream, or taking on a challenge that can be met only with God’s help is our calling.
Then there is the BHAG (Pronounced bee-hag), a term proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. My favorite example is that of Granite Rock Company of Watsonville, CA. They decided to be the premier company of fairness and customer service – a rock company of all things! To accomplish that goal, they chose to implement a radical new policy called “short pay.” The bottom of every Granite Rock invoice reads, “If you are not satisfied for any reason, don’t pay us for it. Simply scratch out the line item, write a brief note about the problem, and return a copy of this invoice along with your check for the balance.” Commitment to this remarkable policy, propelled this company to remarkable levels of customer service. If you don’t embrace fairness and customer service as a core value you don’t work for Granite Rock Company.
What does this have to do with Romans 10? Look at what God does: He champions lost causes! People don’t listen, refuse to believe, or reject him? He continues to come to them with a call to repentance and offer of his love and grace. People who don’t even seek God end up finding him. And those who thought they had the market cornered on God and true faithfulness discover they need desperately to repent.
I have a BHAG beginning to percolate in my heart. It involves the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation – October 31, 2017. Five hundred years after Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Think 500. Think 500 again. Then connect it to the 500th anniversary:
- 500 cities worldwide;
- 500 expressions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the central theme of the Bible: God’s love in Jesus Christ; in celebration of the
- 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
There is much to flesh out in regard to this particular BHAG, and that is yet to come. But it is in the spirit of God’s relentless pursuit of his lost people, and his go-to-the-cross commitment to make that happen. The word has gone out to all the world, yet God keeps calling, inviting, showing himself to lost and rebellious people. Perhaps this will be one more way that he does that.