What's Next for Home Missions?
What Is the Value of Vision?
by Norma Jackson Goldman
It’s a probing question, isn’t it: what is the value of vision?
Humans value their vision (the act or power of seeing with the eye); it is a primary health consideration because vision uniquely connects us to our surroundings and the people in our lives. Good vision means we can continue to work, enjoy the natural beauty of God’s creation, and perform routine but pleasurable tasks that are the fabric of life. We do well when we work to optimize and maintain physical vision.
Vision also has another dimension. Webster says it is “something supposedly seen by other than normal sight…in a dream, trance or supernaturally perceived, as to a prophet.” Believers value this aspect of vision because God communicates to humankind through visions, and we have hundreds of examples in Scripture where God reveals Himself, His plans, future promises, and things to come through visions. We do well when we study Scripture to understand and apply these visions from God.
Still another definition is “the ability to perceive something not actually visible, as through mental acuteness or keen foresight.” Believers would add “through the leadership of God’s Spirit.” It is this type of vision that we want to focus on, because God-inspired vision drives us to see the possibilities in raw material. Gifted sculptors see powerful figures in a block of marble. Musicians see grand oratorios in a keyboard while followers of Christ see thousands of people being won to faith in a plan of outreach. We do well when we apply our minds to such visions, maintaining a habit of openness to what He might reveal to us.
Proverbs 29:18 tells us that “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Many would declare that vision is the responsibility of leaders—primarily those in spiritual or political realms of authority. But God (two of the most powerful words in Scripture) often grants vision to unlikely, obscure, and surprising candidates—like you and me. Many parents invest guidance, loving care, and prayer into their children, having a God-sent vision of who they can become in Christ.
Likewise, godly businessmen or women have a Spirit-breathed vision of how a young protégé can advance the cause of Christ, as they pour themselves and their experience into that person’s life. Even in the political arena, God gives people a vision of how justice and righteousness can be restored in our legislative and judicial system.
What is the vision you have today of how God can use the rest of your days on earth—few or many—to partner with Him in His great enterprise of redeeming a lost world to Himself? Sadly, we must contend with a culture that says in retirement our principal work is to take it easy, relax, and produce little or nothing. Such a viewpoint is blatantly contrary to Scripture, and my prayer is that you would reject such a notion for what it is—a silly, Satan-inspired notion.
So again, what is the value of vision in your life? What might you accomplish, invent, sustain, or improve in the time you have left? Who might you invest in, encourage, mentor, comfort, or sustain with the resources God provides? How might things change in your home, your family, your church, or local mission field if you commit significant time daily in prayer and Spirit-driven effort to be an initiator of change?
Apathy and acceptance of the intolerable are tools of the evil one. He lies in saying you and I cannot possibly make a difference in our small circles of influence. We can.
If you have no vision of what God can do in and through you, ask Him for one and pray until it comes.
About the Writer: Former magazine editor Norma J. Goldman enjoys a successful freelance career in her retirement. The award-winning writer lives near Houston, Texas. Learn more about retirement options at www.boardofretirement.com.