Published On: Sun, Aug 15th, 2010

The Incredible Power of An Idea


By: Robert D. Foster


Over the past year I have read a varied assortment of about 30 different books, but one has remained glued to my heart: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. The book is about 14-year-old “Billy,” who lived in a small, drought-plagued village in the southeastern African nation of Malawi. He and his family, like everyone else in their village, had to live without running water or electricity. No money, no education, and no opportunities, but Billy – William Kamkwamba – had an idea!

William refused to let go of his dreams. The authors write, “With nothing more than a fistful of cornmeal in his stomach, a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks, an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to bring his family a set of luxuries that only two percent of Malawians could afford.”

At the village scrap dump, he collected “stuff and junk” for making a windmill that became the joke of the community – that is, until the day his dream became a reality. Water was pumped from a well and it provided enough energy for a light bulb in his family hut.

The power of an idea (or a dream) is the engine that can transform the way we live and think. In the mid-1970s, a college dropout by the name of Bill Gates came up with an idea. That idea eventually led to a huge, cutting-edge software company named Microsoft. Each of the more than 4,000 companies listed on the NASDAQ exchange has derived its power from a core idea, the spark that led to its beginning.

“Lord, give me an idea.” That was the simple prayer of a young man named Dawson Trotman, who eventually became the founder of The Navigators, a worldwide ministry God has used to touch countless thousands of lives.

And it was in the late 1950s when my wife, Marian, said to me: “Bob, this is something we can do.” There, as we sat beside the swimming pool at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A., a seed took root that sprouted into Lost Valley Ranch, the guest ranch we established in Colorado.

The moment we have an idea, however, is not always the time to spring into action. Sometimes the best thing is to wait – for the right timing, resources and people to fall into place to bring the idea into fruition. So if you have an idea, no matter how good it may be, leave it alone. Allow time for God to do His work. The steps to follow, once an idea has taken root, are: prayer, planning, and preparation.

As I look back over the past 50 years, I see myself as a little boy (even though I was 40 years old) who humbly and earnestly harnessed the wind of the Holy Spirit’s call to dare do something that I knew nothing about, but was willing to trust in God to translate a simple idea into reality.
Do you have any rivers that seem uncrossable? Are there any mountains you cannot tunnel through? Believe me, God specializes in things that someone thought were impossible. He can accomplish what no other power can do.

After all, He promises, “Call unto ME and I will answer you, and show you great and might things, which you do not know”(Jeremiah 33:3).

Until next week!


Taken and adapted from The Challenge, written and published by Robert D. and Rick Foster. Permission to reproduce with proper credit is freely given and encouraged. For questions or comments, write: 29555 Goose Creek Rd, Sedalia, CO 80135, U.S.A., or fax (303) 647-2315.


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