Vision is a tricky thing. It is a sense so vital to our existence, so essential to the way that we live out our lives, and yet so often people don’t remember how important it really is. Through vision we can see what is front of us. We can recognize the people that we know and trust, and we can identify those that we can’t. We can see the path that appears hundreds of feet before us to make sure we aren’t walking towards something dangerous. But it also allows us to experience aesthetic beauty, which is one of my favorite ways in which I feel God’s goodness and grace. And all we have to do is open our eyes and make sure there is enough light in front of us to see our way.
And yet people continue to live there lives in darkness, not looking for a light switch to light up the path of where they are going.
How can you go somewhere if you cannot see the path to the destination? Better yet, how can you go anywhere if you have no idea where you are going in the first place? It is like blindfolding a child, giving him a grocery list, and pushing him out the front door to walk to the store and find the items that you need and return safely. It doesn’t make any sense. And yet so many of us live our lives that way.
Proverbs 29:18 reads, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” (KJV)
If you cannot see, you cannot live. Now I understand that there are many blind people in this world who have very fulfilling lives, but that isn’t really what I am talking about, and that is for sure not what this verse is telling us. What I am saying is that if we want to get anywhere in this world, we have to have a vision of where we want to go. We have to have a picture in front of us of where we want to be and we have to have enough light to get us there. Without it we are just running around in the dark waving our hands in front of ourselves, hoping to grab ahold of something that will sustain us through the night. But this is not a way to live! And yet so many of us do when it comes to our spiritual lives.
We have all gotten to a point during our time here on earth where we feel completely broken and lost. For many of us we have searched for God’s wisdom and grace to get us through the many dark nights we have faced. But it seems that no matter how hard we try we always end up feeling empty and hopeless. We try our best to live a godly and moral life but we slip back to our old ways of living. We give into the temptation that has haunted us for years and it always seems to get the best of us. We cry out for help from God to come and restore us and to take these trials away, and yet there they are again, whispering in our ears once more.
How many of you have desired to become a better man or woman so you can conquer these chains that have bound you up for what seems a lifetime? I would venture a guess that it is all of you.
So how do we get there? How do we get to that place that we desire to be where the only passion that we have in our hearts is to love and obey God? Well we have to know where we are going first. We have to know the destination that we are seeking out. We can’t just wander around aimlessly in the dark hoping that some day you will stagger into such a place of refuge. No, we have to have a vision of where we want to be someday. We have to know where we want to go and we must have to courage to walk towards that vision.
I think back to my own life and the journey that I have been on as a follower of Jesus Christ. There have been a lot of ups and a lot of downs. And for a long time I couldn’t figure out how to fully mature myself to a place where the only desire I have in my heart is God. And I am not there yet. But what I have discovered is that it is impossible to get there without a vision of where I want to be. I have to know where I want to go and I have to keep that image dangled in front of me like a carrot. I have to have the courage to take those steps toward that destination, even if it feels like I am carrying a million pounds on my shoulders. But I know that this vision of where I want to be, this ultimate destination, is worth every step that I take on this journey.
I work with teenagers for a living. I try to be a guide to them on their spiritual walks with Christ. I do my best to help give them advise when they need it and to shed biblical insight into the issues that they are having. I love my job dearly because I have the opportunity to help shape the future of these students, these young adults, that I believe can change the world. But they will never get there if they don’t have a vision for their life. I know that they are hungry for truth and for full dependence on God, and yet so many of them don’t have a clue where they are going. They continue to wander around in the dark, hoping to stumble upon something good.
The conclusion that I want to draw is that if this is you and you fall under this category, then realize that you need to know where you are going before you can get there. The Bible gives us countless insights on how to live a holy life and to survive and thrive as a follower of Christ. But you need to have a vision of where you want your life to be in the future, and you have to give everything you are to get there.