The online journal of Luke Dockery

For the Coming Year, “Make No Small Plans”

Daniel Burnham was a well-known and accomplished 19th-century architect. Among other things, he was famous for designing the Flatiron building in New York City, and the buildings for the World’s Fair held in Chicago in 1893 (his work on that project is described in detail in the excellent The Devil in the White City).

As evidenced by his impressive accomplishments, Burnham was a dreamer (you don’t accomplish as much as he did without being one). The following Burnham quotation, which I love, reflects that quality:

“Make no small plans. They have no magic to stir humanity’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work…. Remember that our sons and daughters are going to do things that will stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon, beauty. Think big.”

(Quoted in Almost Christian, by Kenda Creasy Dean, p. 192)

Another year has passed, and it is time to look ahead to 2014. As you make plans and resolutions for the new year, and Christians, as you reflect on your role in God’s Kingdom, make no small plans. Aim high in hope and work. Think big!


  1. Jared Pack

    Burnham obviously dreamed big; just look at that mustache. A stache of that magnitude is not achieved by small plans.

  2. Luke

    Haha, fair point!

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