The other night, Rich (my husband) and I were watching Mission Impossible 5 (the type of movie I am reluctant to watch but once I do, I get really into and start to draw parallels from the storyline to life’s realities- much to the dismay of my husband!)
Anyway, we were watching the movie and one of the ending scenes is where the hero (Tom Cruise’s character) is, for the first time in the movie, no longer on the defense, trying to find and catch the bad guys, but rather on the offense. He finally has the information that the bad guys wants, and he’s able to use that advantage to trap the villain and save the day. Going from a defensive position to an offensive one changed the whole outcome. He had power and purpose and direction. He was no longer merely hanging on for the ride, trying to be prepared for what might happen next. He was calling the shots.
God has been speaking to me a lot about vision lately. Vision is more than a new year’s resolution. It is not something we determine to do, rather a direction that determines us. Vision is that key ingredient that puts us from a position of defense to that of offense. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Without vision, the people perish.” The word “perish” here means to shrivel up on the vine. Without vision for our lives, we ultimately shrivel up. We settle into survival mode and before we realize it, days have turned to years and we have spent our lives chasing the wind with nothing to show for it.
Our lives need vision. Every area of our lives that we consider to be important need to have direction and purpose. That purpose and direction need to come from God. It’s one thing to have our own desires and dreams (and often those are God-given, by the way), but even more essential is to regularly align ourselves with our True North. The beginning of a new year is a fitting time to do this!
We need to hear His voice and discern which paths to take and which will lead ultimately lead us off course. There are many good and noble pursuits that I am not meant to chase. There are many needs in the world that I am not meant to meet.
What God given abilities, strengths, wiring, and desires has God given you that the world needs?
Frederick Buechner stated, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” It is so easy to go through life making ends meet and doing good work yet miss the mark in regards to our callings. Careers are what we choose. Callings are what God chose for us before we were created. Knowing are calling and the way God has made us give shape and purpose to our lives. It defines our borders so that we know on what to focus.
So this year, more than ever before, I am asking God to define His vision for my life. I have hints of it- work I like to do, what impassions me, what I would fight for, what I liked to do as a child now carried into adulthood, but I want it to be clearer in my mind and in my heart. Vision should be easily defined, a peg that we can hang the rest of our lives on. Rich and I are in the midst of the journey ourselves.
Dave Yarnes, vice president of MorningStar Ministries, says that a good place to start is to ask yourself the simple question: If you could do anything without fear of failure, what would you do? If you had all the resource, talent, capacity, and ability in the world to do what’s hidden in your heart, what would it be? Do we believe God is big enough to resource the dreams He’s given us? Do we look at the world with a poverty or wealth mindset? (More on that later.)
God may speak to us directly from His word, in a dream, through someone else, as the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, through nature, or in many other ways (all of these listed are Biblical in case you were wondering). He cares more about us walking in the plans He has for us than we do. He promised that we are His sheep and we hear His voice. If we truly want to know and are willing to do it, He will show us. (If you’d like more practical help in hearing and developing vision, stay tuned.)
My hope for this new year is to be more sensitive and attentive to what He is saying. I want to be more intentional in asking for His vision for my marriage, my family, my work, this coming year, the next 50 years! Who knows what He’ll share with us?! He is a good Father who wants to see His children fulfilled. He is a kind and intelligent Creator who made each of us with a special gift to bring to the world. If we listen, He will help us unwrap it.
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