The conversations I've had this week have more to do with what's in our way rather than the destination. We will talk about that more we as continue on. But our purpose this week is to talk vision. What do we see down the road?
If I were to ask you to describe how you picture your life in ten years, chances are you could paint a fairly clear picture. You might have some idea of where you want to be financially, or you could describe what you hope to achieve professionally. You may have some sense of the relationships you want in your life.
Andy Stanley says in his book Visioneering,
"you would be able to look beyond what is and paint a picture of what could be—and in some cases what should be—true of your life. That’s vision."
In my coaching practice, there is a dramatic difference between the people who have a clear vision for their life, along with the courage to follow through - and those without one.
Those who SEE what they want 'down the road' and take steps, even if it is baby steps, come in a year later with a sense of accomplishment. "I did it. I succeeded. It wasn't easy, but I made a difference."
Those who take each day, each project as it comes- doing what they think is best at the moment, often come to the end the next year and feel tired. They have worked hard- sometimes very hard. They have been very busy. And yet they feel like they have little to show for it. Why?
Because they didn't look ahead to determine a destination (the bullseye) of where they wanted to go. They ended up running here and there and everywhere, following whims and expectations of others, more often than not.
Andy Stanley writes…
Vision gives significance to the otherwise meaningless details of our lives. And let’s face it, much of what we do doesn’t appear to matter much when evaluated apart from some larger context or purpose. But take the minutia of this very day, drop it into the cauldron of a God-ordained vision, stir them around, and suddenly there is purpose! Meaning!
So where does a vision come from?
Well, the Sunday School answer is God. God places His dreams in us. And then he calls them out of us. That is truer than true. He has planted a vision within that that is significant to who He made us to be and what He made us to do- with our skills, abilities, dreams and even our pet peeves and aggravations. Which is part of the reason I spend a great deal of time with my clients helping them understand WHO they are.
But some things we need to also consider are:
- Vision is born in the space between what IS and what could be. It often begins with our inability to accept things as they are- even our desire to escape something: a job you hate, a diagnosis you fear, a longing for love. Over time that dissatisfaction matures into a clear picture of what could be. But a vision is more than that. After all, what could be is an idea, a dream, but not necessarily a vision.
- Vision is always accompanied by strong emotion. There is no such thing as an emotionless vision. I know, I can hear some of you say (my husband included) "You can't base your life on emotions. They are fickle and can not be trusted."
But emotions are part of our design- our God given design as is our strengths and abilities. When we learn to listen to our 'feelings', they often point us to what it is God is actually calling us too.
For instance, …
"Think about your daydreams. The thing that makes daydreaming so enjoyable is the emotion that piggybacks on those mind’s-eye images. When we allow our thoughts to wander outside the walls of reality, our feelings are quick to follow.
A clear, focused vision actually allows us to experience ahead of time the emotions associated with our anticipated future. These emotions serve to reinforce our commitment to the vision. They provide a sneak preview of things to come. Even the most lifeless, meaningless task or routine can begin to “feel” good when it is attached to a vision. Through the avenue of vision, the feelings reserved for tomorrow are channeled back into our present reality." (Andy Stanley)
Example: My Senior Recital as a Vocal Music Major in College….even as a freshman I could imagine standing on the stage, I could feel what it would be like to present my work my Senior year full of voice, skill and great performance. I could SEE it. Those emotions drew me to the practice rooms every day. They created for me the vision of what I wanted that moment to be like.
Vision is always accompanied by strong emotion. And the clearer the vision, the stronger the emotion.
Sometimes our emotions point us to the vision that is beautiful and full of life. But other times vision is born out of brokenness. Heartache. Death. Loss. Disappointment. Is it possible that God uses our deepest pain to bring out the vision He has for us?
"Jesus says yes, says fruit comes when the seed is planted and broken and dies. The story of God is built upon beauty made, then destroyed, then re-made better. There is bondage, but then freedom. There is blindness, but then sight. There is death, but then resurrection." From <https://emilypfreeman.com/learning-to-leave-a-trail-of-beauty/>
Example: After Leisha died, I remember thinking "if I have to hurt this bad, there better be some good that comes out of this somewhere." I couldn't imagine I would ever find life after Leisha's death. My head knew I would - as we had walked with so many others before us that had found life again.
But it was as I read Leisha's journal and she began to tell my story of a painful circumstance before she was born where I was struggling to see God big enough. Leisha writes, "but then Mom decided that she would trust God. And I was born. Leisha Danae Burrus, April 28th, 1991." (Read our story in Lovely Traces of Hope)
She pointed me to my own story and prepared the way for me to write the next one. My emotions were wrapped all around that. But there was resurrection. I've seen it- lived it! That is WHY I do WHAT I do now. It is part of my VISION for my future.
We've only scratched the surface on vision But my question for you today is...
What is the …
- space between what IS and what could be that you struggle to accept?
- What are your emotions?
- What are your daydreams?
- What are your broken places?
What are these things showing you about what you were made to do?
What do you SEE?