Wanted: VISION

Have you ever created something?

If you just answered “No” to that I’m going to beg to differ. We’ve all created things – from intricate murals to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And if I called your mom, I bet she’d tell me you created a mess at least once in your lifetime.

You see there is this stigma about being
creative…
artistic…
a leader…
it makes people squirm a bit. They say things like, “Oh, I’m not as creative/artistic/capable as ________.”

Why do we do that? Have you done that yourself?

I’ve done that. And I just did it recently as some of my friends gathered together for an evening of appetizers, wine, and painting. Appetizers and wine? That’s my game. Painting? I can’t paint. I’m not artistic. 

Much to my surprise, I brought home something that is now hanging in my kitchen. Maybe I could blame it on the wine, but as I’ve pondered other pieces of life in the days since that fun evening, I believe it was more than wine that brought about a pleasing outcome.

My beautiful friend, Holly, and I as we created our impressionist paintings.

When it comes to being “creative” or “artistic”, for me it comes down to a lack of vision. And when there is some sort of vision in my head, I don’t know how to get to it so I usually just don’t try. However, having someone who painted the vision for us [pun intended] and then led us to it one step at a time made for a lovely surprise.

That’s a bit how life is… and I think that’s why we sometimes deflect self-indicators of being a leader or artist of some sort. When we don’t know how to produce, we don’t want to be identified as one who should produce something.

In the past several months I have become particularly aware of each person’s potential to lead or create…
Sadly I have also become particularly aware of the gap between many people’s potential and what they produce…
What’s missing…
VISION

Quite honestly, if someone at the little painting party had handed me that white canvas and said “go for it” I would’ve come home with nothing but flushed cheeks and a satisfied appetite. Motivation to do anything that made me the slightest bit uncomfortable or could cause perceived failure would not have existed. In my mind, attempting to be creative would’ve been futile. However, with a picture of where we were going and some guidance on how to get there, I stepped on out.

Seeing how this blog was named literally years before this post, I think about vision a lot. And those that know me can attest I often step out and get uncomfortable. Very rarely it is without cause…

There is a vision in my heart and mind that does not begin with me and it does not end with me.

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
~ Isaiah 40:3-5

I have a vision of neighborhoods where people no longer war over territory…
Where each child has opportunity to excel in their individual gifts…
Where people are not arrested for sleeping in public because they are without shelter…
Where every race, generation, and religious background breaks bread around a common table…
Where neighbors know each other well enough to celebrate and grieve in the rhythms of life together…
Where parts of town are not toxic and avoided or “cleaned up”…
Where Christ, His Kingdom, Grace, and Glory are famous above all else…

I could go on and on… the point simply is that without a vision I’d be lost. Hardships would be so meaningless. Not worth pushing through. I would continue to move on to the next best thing in hopes of something that would last.

Folks, none of it will last. Only what we wait for will last forever (1 Peter 1:3-5).

I pray you find vision first of the Father and His tremendous grace upon your life. Before you offer anything… before you create or lead something, you are a child of His and your purpose cannot be lost (Psalm 57:2). You will never earn yourself right standing to begin with and you will not earn yourself sanctification… find rest in Him (Isaiah 30:15).

And then ask yourself, “What do I live for?”

Has God given you a vision? Personally or through the lives of those around you? Some of us will drink a glass of wine as we fumble along to follow the instructions of the painter… Some of use will be the painter who fumbles along to share the vision with others… All of us are fumbling along together, full of great need for grace, as each passing experience gives opportunity to be made more like Him (James 1:2-4).

Whether you are making music, cleaning buildings, cooking meals, raising children, growing big businesses, or skipping through the park on a sunny day – do it with intention. You need not make your life seem more holy… live to love… live to an eternal beginning, not a perishing end.

May CHRIST be made famous in our coming, our going, and our everyday doing.

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