I’m one of those people who sees a life lesson in a lot of different things, and movies are definitely one of them. A favorite of late has been the Avengers. It’s great, I love the plot, the script, just everything about it, but the last few months, I’ve been pondering about cadres. What’s that, you say? A cadre is a small band of revolutionaries, a small group that can sometimes get the job done better than a mass of people. I watch the end of the Avengers, and see how they have a small band of people facing down a large, intimidating army each in their own strengths. It seems overwhelming, but working in partnership they do triumph. And go for shawarma afterwards.
It’s Not the Size
I’ve been thinking about the concept of a small band of people a lot because I hear so much from so many that are discouraged by the size of their groups, clients, whatever. Whether they’re just starting out, or they’ve been around for a while and haven’t grown (or have decreased in number), the people that turn out to events, meetings, or programs can have a lot to do with how encouraged or discouraged they can feel about the calling and purpose they have. Yes, it’s something tangible that we can see, so let’s take a look at victories that happen through the small groups.
Navy Seals have tasks forces, and such a one took down Osama bin Laden.
The great Siege of Malta (1565 AD) where the Maltese defended their nation with 8,500 against the Ottoman Empire with 45,00.
The Battle of Tolvajarvi (1939), a Finish counterattack at the start of the Winter War against the Soviet Union, where the Soviets with 20,000 men were bested by the Finns with 4,000.
The Battle of Vitkov Hill (1420), the Protestant Hussites held off a massive 150,000 Crusading army using only sharpened tools and, “piss[ing] off the Pope to no end.”
God has one prophet face down 450 other prophets of Ba’al, laughing and mocking all the way(I Kings 18).
God paring down an army of over 3,000 to just 300 and says, “Now, we can win this fight.” (Judges 7)
He sends a young man to kill a giant and encourage a mighty army(I Samuel 17), and another young man and his armour bearer face on another army(I Samuel 14).
And then they have their version of shawarma afterwards(I Samuel 14:27).
A Small Band of Revolutionaries
One of my favorite sayings is, “We can do so much more together than we can a part.” Our efforts together have an exponential effect. Partnership with one another is key, leveraging our strengths and allowing other peoples’ strength to bolster our weaknesses, and encouraging one another in our day to day lives. When you have that, you can be with the two or three, or with two or three hundred. Either way, you’re collaborating, growing stronger as a whole, and succeeding. Together. And you can enjoy that with shawarma afterwards.