The Power of 10,000

Elevation 10,000 ft sign, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii stock photo

Have you considered the ways the number 10,000 is used?

Power exists in 10,000. The number 10,000 can have a magical and enduring impact on you. It has the power to produce abundant meaning in this life and the life to come.

Let me explain by talking about the various ways the number 10,000 has been used.

10,000 words.

The old cliché says, “A picture is worth 1000 words.” Now we can add, “But a video is worth 10,000 words.” A picture captures a moment in time. A video is the ability to transcend the moment to communicate impact.

10,000 hours.

In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Gladwell arrived at this conclusion by studying the lives of extremely successful people. Whether it is elite violinists, Microsoft founders, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, or the Beatles. The common denominator was not natural talent, but rather they invest 10,000 hours to stand out in their field. The elite don’t just work harder than everybody else. At some point the elites fall in love with practice to the point where they want to do little else. Practice plays a major role in success.

10,000 steps.

A Japanese company started using the 10,000 steps a day as part of a marketing campaign to help sell pedometers not to get people to walk. Since that initial campaign however, medical authorities around the world have agreed that 10,000 steps is a healthy number for which to aim. The American Heart Association uses the 10,000 steps metric as a guideline to follow for improving health and decreasing risk of heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in America.

10,000 attempts.

Long-time associate of Thomas Edison’s, Walter S. Mallory, visited Edison in his laboratory as he and his scientists had been working on the development of a nickel-iron battery for more than five months. Mallory visited Edison in his laboratory. Edison’s team had made over nine thousand experiments in trying to devise this new type of storage battery, but had not produced a single thing that promised to solve the question. Mallory said: “Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?” Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work.”

Lewis H. Sarett spoke about Thomas Edison. He said:

Thomas Edison, the American inventor par excellence, was particularly repelled by confusing serendipity with hard work. He said “Discovery is not invention—and I dislike to see the two words confounded. A discovery is more or less in the nature of an accident.” He, like other inventors did have faith, courage, and persistence. “I’ve tried everything. I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work!”

Edison was right. Attempts are not failures. They simply are tries along the way that leads one in a different direction. So whether you have made 100, or 1,000, or 10,000 attempts, don’t look at it as failure but as an education. Look at those attempts as what not to do so you open new territory of innovation.

10,000 angels.

When Jesus was on his way to the cross. He was in the Garden of Gethsemane when the mob seized him. Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus told Peter to put the sword away for he could call more than twelve legions of angels (72,000) to rescue him (see Matthew 26:53). Here Jesus was demonstrating his meekness, strength under control. A quality all people need.

Ray Overholt wrote a song based on that story entitled He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels. The chorus says:

He could have called ten thousand angels

To destroy the world and set Him free.

He could have called ten thousand angels,

But He died alone for you and me.

10,000 angels were used in another song. The setting for this song is Jesus on the cross. The song is entitled “Ten Thousand Angels Cried.”

Stillness filled the heavens, on crucifixion day. Some say it rained, I don’t know if it’s true. Well, I can just imagine ten thousand angels crying That would seem like rain to me and you.

The angels all stood ready to take Him from the tree They waited for the words from His own voice. And when He asked the Father why has Thou forsaken Me. They watched the Savior die of His own choice.

I’ve never seen ten thousand angels cry But I’m sure they did As they stood by And watched the Savior die.

God turned His head away He couldn’t bear the sight It must have looked like rain When ten thousand angels cried.

As the sun slipped away The skies turned to grey And when Jesus gave His all That’s when the tears began to fall.

10,000 years.

Often, 10,000 years is used to communicate eternity.

Elmer Cole, singer and songwriter, wrote the song “Ten Thousand Years.”

Translation in progress. Please wait…

Soon I’ll come to the end of my journey

And I’ll meet the One who gave His life for me

And I will thank him for the love that He gave me

And ten thousand years or more I’ll reign with Him

We will just begin to sing loves sweet story

And it’s a song that the angels they just could not sing

And I’ve been redeemed by the blood of my Savior

And ten thousand years or more I’ll praise His name Ten thousand years…

we’ll just be started Ten thousand years…

we’ve just begun The battle will be over…

and the victory is won Ten thousand years…

and we’ve just begun
10,000 years appears in the most popular Christian song of all time, “Amazing Grace.” It was published in 1779, with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton, a reformed slave trader.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now am found,

Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.

And Grace, my fears relieved.

How precious did that Grace appear

the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares

we have already come.

T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far

and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me

His word my hope secures.

He will my shield and portion be

as long as life endures.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years

bright shining as the sun.

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

then when we’ve first begun.

10,000 reasons.

Finally, understanding that our words are given to us by God’s as a means to communicate; and knowing that God has blessed us with hours to practice and perform our time upon this earth; and realizing that our steps are ordered by the Lord, taking us home to him, we have every reason to praise the God of the universe. And, understanding that Jesus suffered and died in our place, knowing that he could have called angels to rescue him, but because he didn’t believers will have years upon years in eternity, we have every reason to praise God for his grace. In fact, according to Matt Redmon we have 10,000 reasons to sing praise to God for who he is and what he has done.

Bless the Lord oh my soul

Oh my soul

Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before

Oh my soul I’ll worship Your Holy name.

The sun comes up It’s a new day dawning

It’s time to sing Your song again

Whatever may pass

And whatever lies before me

Let me be singing

When the evening comes.

You’re rich in love

And You’re slow to anger

Your name is great

And Your heart is kind.

For all Your goodness

I will keep on singing

Ten thousand reasons

For my heart to find.

In the end, I’m thankful Jesus didn’t call 10,000 angels to rescue him. Now, I will have 10,000 years to sing about the 10,000 reasons I have to praise him.


About Rick Ezell

I am a husband, father, pastor, and writer. This blog is about shaping character, transforming church, and impacting culture. I believe that if one defines their moments then their moments will determine their character and their character will influence their world. I write on personal development, church leadership, and our changing culture. I also write about the resources I am developing and the books I am writing. My goal is to create challenging, relevant, and inspiring content that will help you be a better person, the church be a better parish, and the world a better place. If you are interested in those things, this blog is for you. I have served the church my entire career as a student minister and senior pastor. I studied at Samford University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (eventually I will get it). I have written eight books. My most recent ones are Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love and Soul Therapy: The Healing Words of Psalm 23. Both are available as eBooks. I have written over 1000 articles for various local, regional, and national publications. I have been married to Cindy for thirty-three years. We have one wonderful daughter. We live in Greenville, SC. In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, running, tennis, and golf. You can contact me via email or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
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