While editing a brochure recently for a new program coming under the Center for Women with Vision, I needed to focus on language to communicate our visionary philosophy. After all, we are called the Center for Women with VISION and, therefore, it is extremely relevant and appropriate for us to figure out what we mean by using the word "vision" in our name.
What kind of vision are we talking about? The verbiage I edited fits our culture at the CWV especially well but the credit for it actually goes to Phoenix Seminary where it is drawn from their values material. Why recreate the wheel when something is said so well that it cannot be improved upon?
Anyway, our version - based on their version - goes like this:
We believe God is honored when we challenge one another to abandon small ambitions and attempt things which are great in our Lord's eyes, exceeding human capabilities for His own sovereign purposes and glory!
Yikes! I am in love with language about abandoning small ambitions! When a simple phrase lifts me to a new place in my thinking, I am extremely grateful. I want to do life better and that means thinking about something higher and greater than my own human nature can comprehend.
When possibilities begin percolating new energy flows, but in the frothy ferment, how can I be sure what is really God's vision? To help us out, His vision is accompanied by a wonderful thing - confirmation!
Although this "thing" may not be present in my life right now, I can test it and reconfirm it day by day before Him. Even acknowledging I am waiting on God for His vision to become a reality is very different from my non-believing friends. In my waiting I am demonstrating respect for the limitless creativity and sovereign timeline of my Heavenly Father!
Doubles yikes! I also swing into wide-eyed alarm about where an adventure with God and His BIG
ambitions might ultimately take me! Great ambitions - even with the proper motivation - keep me hanging emotionally over a chasm of great risk. What if I look like a fool for believing and following a vision He has planted in my heart? What if He drop kicks me into the chasm itself - never to be heard from again?
This is why vision is a difficult word to embrace. Some even believe, and I tend to agree, that the word has been stolen from us by our culture. You - the person reading this blog - may feel that Christians have surrendered it to the nut jobs of the world. How sad if this becomes our excuse for not abandoning our small ambitions! The Bible records many examples of God giving great discernment and foresight to human beings through their senses - often through dreams as the medium. What is clear is that He desires to make human beings carriers of what is currently immaterial but very real, nonetheless, in His economy.
My own heart is capable of vain wild imaginings - thoughts flying untethered in the wind. However, when
God - the Master Planner - downloads His vision into my heart - He ties it to the tail of a high-flying kite! When His "vision kite" bounces to earth, by golly, what He has planned - will be! When it is my vision kite - He has allowed me to do something great in His eyes! Oooooohhhhh! I am so all over that!
Be Thou My Vision
Ancient Irish Poem - 8th Century
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
thou my best thought by day or by night;
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.