Close your eyes...
Now think of your future, perhaps 5 years from now - think of your home... your family relationships... your work... finances... your state of mind... your health....
What do you see?
Are things looking exciting? Happy? Peaceful? Do you feel hopeful about the years to come? Thankful in advance?
I am inviting you to see beyond sight - to use your mind's eye, or your imagination as a canvas on which you frame and paint your future. Helen Keller, the deaf-blind American activist and author famously said "The only worse thing than being blind, is having sight but no vision." Vision is like the map (remember those...), that will take you to your destination. It requires you to know where you are going, and then chart the route to getting there. The Bible also says it - When there is no vision, the people get out of control.
In addition, what kind of brushes are you using to paint this canvas. We might 'see' the future through lenses of fear or anxiety or the trauma of past experiences and failures. The picture we are painting may be a very bleak one. Francis Frangipane, the Christian author says "... Any system of thinking... which feels hopeless, is a stronghold which must be pulled down." We need to align ourselves with optimistic people who will encourage the positive visionary in us and give us that permission to imagine a hopeful future in every area - concerning our family, health and well-being. That we would "Prosper and be in health, even as our souls prosper".
As an architectural designer, I have spent many years planning and thinking through and picturing what a house could look like, talking with Home Owners about the limitations of their existing spaces, their reasons for wanting to transform their homes, their budgets and practicalities, and then taking all into consideration to imagine a renovation that compromises where required. It is the final plans and drawings - the VISION showing the desired transformation - that has given those involved the patience to live through building work, dust and temporary upheaval.
One of the things I love about my job is that I get to see transformation regularly. It is a thrill to take an unloved,
'ugly duckling' house and plan though its conversion into a glamorous 'swan'. Through the whole process - from initial visits to the final staging and styling of the furniture and the plumping of the cushions - I can SEE the finished house in my imagination and can watch the progression from sketches to paper drawings to bricks and mortar to inhabited bright and comfortable rooms. I haven't yet been in a house that caused me to despair!
Vision means that you KEEP THE END IN VIEW - you see the end from the beginning and this helps you know the direction you should be going, the right problems to solve and gives you the determination when things get tough (and sometimes they do...).
Now close your eyes again and think of your future... What do you see?