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'...