Summary: First in series. Looking at what vision is, what hinders it, and how to have it.
Me, My Church, & I
Vision: How’s Your Life Sight?
"Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds." -Franklin Field
"A blind man’s world is bound by the limits of his touch; an ignorant man’s world by the limits of his knowledge; a great man’s world by the limits of his vision." -E. Paul Hovey
[Mead, Frank S. 12,000 Religious Quotations. (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1965). p.465.]
Men with vision: military vision Alexander the Great
artistic vision Leonardo da Vinci
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wilbur & Orville Wright
business/financial vision Sam Walton
What is it about these individuals that allowed them to rise above everyone else? VISION
How did they accomplish and overcome insurmountable tasks? VISION
I. Vision: What Is It, And Why Do I Need It?
The American Heritage Dictionary defines vision as:
1. The faculty of sight
2. Something that is, or has been seen
3. Discerning perception
[The American Heritage Dictionary: Second College Edition. (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1982).]
Vision is being able to see.
John Maxwell says that, "Vision is...the ability to see...the faith to believe...[and] the courage to do."
Not merely perceiving, but being able so see the broader picture; the larger scope of life. It’s being able to take a step back from the situation to gain a larger perspective.
Chess example-easy to call shots from the outside (give advise), but not as easy as a player
Habakkuk- prophet, witnessed collapse of the kingdom, rise of Babylon, reign of injustice
"God what are you going to do?"
All he could see was the injustice before his eyes,
Not God working in the larger picture
He lacked total vision (so God gave it to him)
II. What Prevents Or Hinders Vision
Much like Habakkuk most of us live with a narrow focus on life.
We have allowed external factors and influences to hinder our vision, and ultimately define our lives.
Most of us lack control over our lives because we’ve surrendered that control to obligations and to people.
For some of us we allow our finances to limit our vision and dictate our lives. We find ourselves under the burden of debt: mortgage/rent, car, credit cards, loans, on and on the list goes, and we allow our finances to control our lives. We live our lives for the sole purpose of paying off debt.
Some have allowed schedules to dictate their lives. We fill our schedules up- work, sleep, and in between we run hectically from one task to the next: the laundry needs to be cleaned, the dishes are dirty, the lawn needs mowing, Billy’s got a ball game after school, Suzie’s got ballet class, and the Joneses want us to stop by for a visit-and in the end we’ve left little to not time to make our own plans in life.
C. Family & Friends
For some of us its our family. We’re so busy maintaining the roles we have we can’t think of ourselves as anything other than "Emery’s dad, Shelley’s husband, Verlan’s son" We seem to lose any identity apart from these roles.
And, finally, some have allowed their job to hinder their vision and to dictate their life’s purpose. They would say their occupation is who they are. Instead of being a plumber, or a lawyer, or a clerk by trade they define their entire life by that role.
Who is calling the shots in your life? Is your vision being hindered?
Hear what the Psalmist said, "13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable!" Psalm 139:13-17
He’s saying, "God, before I was ever created you had a plan; a purpose for my life. You had a vision for me."
Who’s calling the shots in your life? Is it the Bank, Family, Friends, Your Boss?
Proverb 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish"
Each of us must have a vision for our lives. Collectively we must have a vision for our church.
III. How To Discover Vision
Gaining, or regaining vision requires time and effort. It is a process which requires training.
Ill: Learning to drive as a professional. Learning to look ahead (larger perspective)