"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2-3
A young couple rented a vacation cottage for a week. One afternoon the husband looked out a window at the swimming pool and exclaimed, "Let’s change our clothes and go get some exercise!" His wife, who was washing the dishes in the kitchen and looking out the window watching some people play tennis, quickly agreed. While she dressed for a tennis match, he put on his swimming trunks. The window a person chooses to look out at the world often determines that individual’s perception of reality. - Lyle Schaller, “Activating the Passive Church”, p. 19.
What happened to these two young people?
They were influenced by two different visions weren’t they?
Consider the power of each vision and how it influenced them.
First, their vision influenced how they thought. The young man, looking and the pool thought of a refreshing did in the sparkling water of the pool. But his young wife was thinking of the fun and exercise of a rousing game of tennis.
Second, their vision affected their decisions. The husband, thinking of a dip in the pool decided to put on his swim suit while his wife, with visions of tennis balls, chose to don her tennis outfit.
Thirdly, their vision impacted their expectations. The husband was expecting his wife to show up in a bathing suit while she was expecting him to come dressed for tennis!
Finally, their vision dictated their actions. He dressed for swimming and she dressed for tennis.
Being newlyweds we can assume they laughed this off and used it as a lesson in communication going forward.
But imagine if this continued to happen throughout the remainder of their marriage. Would that continue to be funny? What is the likelihood of it taking a toll on their marriage?
My purpose is to illustrate in a simple way the power and importance of vision in your life.
I think you can also see how important vision is in relationships. A shared vision can develop a deep and intimate relationship with shared goals and shared values. But differing visions can tear at the fibers of the relationship and pull the couple in opposite directions.
Now apply this to a church fellowship. I’m sure you have been associated with or known of a church that did not have or did not share a commitment to the same vision. What became of that church?
Contrast that to a church led by visionary leaders who communicate a clear and compelling vision that the people embrace and execute together!
What vision is directing your life?
What vision is compelling your marriage?
Do you know the vision of your church? If so, are you committed to it?
Could it be time for some vision clarification in your life?