This week I made the yearly trip to the optometrist to get my eye health checked out. Unfortunately, I needed to increase the power of my contacts due to weakening eyes. While physically our eyes may weaken our spiritual eyes are equally as important to monitor. When most people talk about vision it can mean essentially two things. Primarily it refers to someone’s ability to see, on the other hand, it refers to one’s ability to foresee or look ahead. A similar word is INSIGHT. While many of us have perfectly healthy eyes or glasses to help when we don’t, we lack insight or vision in our spiritual journey.
Have you ever wanted to view your life from the perspective of a drone flying overhead? The drone can see all your surroundings. It looks back on where you have been and sees ahead where you cannot see. It gets a birds eye view on your life. The higher it goes the more it can see. Having vision or insight is similar to the drone… it gives perspective. It allows the past to teach you and informs your future decisions. Having vision will impact how you treat others, where you prioritize your time and will dictate what motivates you. Vision leads you, and so vision is very important to have!
How do we get vision? Getting vision is like steering a sailboat. There are two things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to manage the sails, pull the ropes, steer the rudder and look at the small details needed to thrust the ship forward. This takes an immense amount of coordination, the right people, and resources to do it. This is how we get vision every day. By doing the little things right. We are coordinating, pulling that rope, and loosening that sail in a unified effort to make the ship sail on. It required a dedication to a regular pattern of devotions, a commitment to loving others, an awareness to combat temptation and a walk of life that honors God above all.
Secondly, you need to look ahead to the desired destination. While focusing on the details, you need to look up over the blue ocean and past the rolling waves and focus on the target in the distance. This is vision. Having a big perspective and destination that drives forward the day-to-day commitments. What bigger direction do you want your life to take? This direction is based on your deeper core values. In what area of your life do you want to see change or improvement? How can you help out in your church, or workplace or family? Where do you want the desired destination to be for your sailing ship?
When that destination is set it begins to impact your life decisions. When the day-by-day actions and the destination goals match up you can reach for your goals. How are your day-to-day activities influenced by your vision? Are you able to look ahead, while steering the ship week in and week out?
A visionary is able to do 2 things very well. First, he or she can translate their deepest core values (convictions) into an actionable and real mission. Second, he or she can communicate their vision clearly and repeatedly to themselves, others and God above all.
Noah exemplifies the two visionary qualities very well as displayed in Genesis 6-10
First, Noah’s deepest core value was that a holy and just God existed in the heavens, when no other man followed or acknowledged a Supreme Being. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every thought of his heart was only evil continually” (6:5)… “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (6:8). God told Noah, in grace, to build a massive ark. This deep belief in trusting God would propel him to work for 120 years on a massive piece of wood. What a vision he needed, with deep convictions to propel him forward.
Secondly, Noah also communicated the vision. When others mocked and asked what he was doing he had to speak clearly and repeatedly the message that God would send a flood and destroy the world. This was a call to repentance that lasted 120 years. Noah must have preached many times over and over his message to the wicked generation around him.
While Noah is an excellent model of a visionary servant of God, we should also take note to follow through with our own goals that match our deepest convictions, while faithfully following our King day in and day out!
Fill in the blank exercise to establish your vision. I see a vision for_____________________________________________ to be completed by __________________________ with the team of _________________________________________ and the resources of ______________________________________ for the betterment of __________________________________________.