History has been marred by wars, rioting, despotic leadership, geopolitical challenges, ethnic cleansing, environmental erosion, and diseases that threatened to wipe out all of humanity. Yet in spite of these threats to our very existence, we are able to look through the pages of history books to identify individuals who kept hope alive and pointed us to the possibility of a better and brighter future by the power of their vision.
Proverbs tells us that “where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18)—they stumble in the darkness of despair. Lacking hope, they lose their way and eventually fail to thrive. But those visionaries who changed the course of history would not let that happen. Their bold ideas provoked us to change and inspired us to believe that we could overcome the challenge of the day—and we did.
It was the vision of ordinary individuals willing to risk failure and sometimes even death that has been key in the fight against colonialism, apartheid, authoritarianism, preventable disease, segregation, poverty and illiteracy, to name a few. These visionaries hailed from every corner of the earth. They came from a diversity of backgrounds, ethnicities and religious persuasions. They were doctors and ditch-diggers, emancipators and engineers, common folk and rich folk, freemen and slaves, politicians and poets, environmentalists and economists, scientists and theologians.
Visionaries such as Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Sojourner Truth, John F. Kennedy, Jane Goodall, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, William Booth, D. L. Moody, Aimee Semple-McPherson, Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Desmond Tutu, Billy Sunday, Rachel Carson, Vandana Shiva, Steve Jobs and Walt Disney, along with a myriad of others helped foster peace, technological advance, medical breakthroughs and new economies, as well as new moral and ethical ways of thinking and living. I am impressed by the biographies of these visionaries that I have read over the years, and I’m inspired by their stories. But the greatest visionary ever to live, in my opinion, was Jesus Christ. He had a vision to save all of humanity and restore us back to our original state as heavenly representatives.
Vision is perhaps one of the most important spiritual forces in the world. By it, lives are enhanced, purpose is actualized and potential is maximized. It is a force that has shaped our world and fostered the progress of humanity. It is an essential factor for technological advancement, medical and scientific breakthroughs, community development, economic growth and other accomplishments. It is a key element that helps shape our collective and individual lives.
Vision requires the use of the mind—and we all have one! Your mind is an idea-generating innovative machine. It has no lids or limitations, except those that have been self-imposed. Your mind is powerful and can propel you to do so many extraordinary things—once you understand how to harness its power (2 Cor. 10:4-5). One idea is all it takes to create a beautiful work of art. One spark of inspiration is all it takes to compose a symphony. One vision for something better is all it takes to change the trajectory of a nation. In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral,” What extraordinary possibility are you able to see when you look at your ordinary circumstances?
However, vision is not only the art of imagining; it is also the ability to bring what you’ve imagined to pass. Imagine what you could do if you did more than just think about doing something. Don’t just imagine the possibilities—take action now to realize the life you’ve imagined living, the things you’ve imagined doing, the industries you’ve imagined impacting, the people you’ve imagined influencing and the world you’ve imagined changing for the better. Begin to turn your rock pile into a cathedral, even if only one stone at a time. With the map of your vision before you, set your course to sail for a better tomorrow.
Prayer Power for the Week of Dec. 30, 2018
As we come to the end of 2018 and embrace a whole new year ahead, approach God with a grateful heart and thank Him for His goodness, salvation, Son, fellowship in the Holy Spirit, provision and Word. Remind yourself of His faithfulness as you look to the future. Thank Him for unveiling His plan for you on a daily basis. Continue to pray for our nation and its leaders, our military and allies, including Israel, and for world-wide revival. Read Matthew 7:7-8, Mark 9:23 and 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.