Thursday, April 27, 2006

3 Sides of that "Vision Verse"

Depending on which translation you read, that oft-quoted verse in Proverbs can mean several different things related to "vision". A few thoughts:

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." (Proverbs 19:18, King James Version)

No vision = death. That's a metaphor that makes a lot of sense, if you've seen people whose dreams have died. Dead churches are usually full (or half-full, or mostly-empty) with people of dead vision, and no desire for anything to change.

So, is it far-fetched to suggest that lacking vision will lead to a deadened spiritual vitality?
"Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint." (Proverbs 29:18, New International Version)

No revelation = no restraint. How does that fit?

A pastoral friend of mine once proposed that it's not unlike an athletic metaphor: people who are heading for competition in the Olympics "restrain" themselves from things that run counter to their "vision". For example, they'd avoid drugs, alcohol, staying up late playing X-Box, and junk food; they'd instead invest their time and adopt a lifestyle that would help them accomplish their vision.

So, is it far-fetched to suggest that lack of vision/revelation leads to a lack of focus on spiritual formation?
"If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves." (Proverbs 29:18, The Message)

No vision (seeing what God is doing) = gimped walk of faith.

If we have no idea (vision) of what God is calling us to do/say/be, will we inevitably end up with a lot of self-made, self-initiated, self-driven monuments to our own efforts? Will we find ourselves, as Bob Girard did in 1968, looking objectively at what we've been doing, and writing, as Bob did:
"It wasn't Acts. It was a testimony to the good things people can do – all by themselves." (Brethren Hang Loose, page 69)
So, is it far-fetched to suggest that having vision/dreams is non-negotiable?

I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Plot Thickens...

I handed in my "two weeks' notice" to my manager at St. Arbucks yesterday.

"What the Harry Reimer?" you're probably saying to yourself. "No more latte and cappuccino comments? No more banal comparisons to Tim Horton's? First Red Green goes off the air, and now Robby's quitting St. Arbucks?"

Well, jes' calm down thar, pardner, and lemme learn ya the story...

It may come as a shock to some that being fulltime at YWAM and three-quarter-time at St. Arbucks is somewhat less than ideal for a husband and father of three. Spending 70+ hours per week -- not counting YWAM homework -- and trying to keep our family somewhat connected to normalcy (as we define it) may sound like a dream to some (workaholics in need of repentence), but was beginning to wear on yours truly.

Wendy & I were discussing whether or not I should continue working at St. Arbucks last Thursday, and Wendy said, "If you think God wants you to quit, I'll support you in that decision."

Friday last week included a communion celebration at YWAM, and during the prayer time afterwards, Paul Martinson (Western Director for YWAM Canada) prophesied over me that while I had a reputation for living "on the edge", that perhaps God was calling me ever further out on that edge.

"Hmm," I thought to myself.

So I wrote out a brief note for my manager and left it on her desk after my shift ended on Sunday. This afternoon (Monday), we received an envelope in the mail from a pastoral friend whom we had not heard from in some time. There was no note in the envelope. No quick message. No handwritten or typed greeting.

Just a cheque. Out of "nowhere".

Way cool. The adventure of being "on the edge" just got more interesting!