I once read the story of a town that was going to be destroyed as a result of the building of a dam upstream. While the destruction was a number of years away, the negative impact of its prospect was immediate. Residents stopped painting homes, repairs went undone, and no new building projects were started. In describing what happened, a news reporter summed it up this way: "No faith in the future, no power in the present."
Over the years, I have found the Scripture recorded in Proverbs 29:18 to be painfully true: "Where there is no vision, the people perish." I have observed that visionless people have clearly identifiable traits that contribute to their ultimate demise. Visionless people are pliable people. They have no guiding principles or values, and, as a result, they fall for anything. Visionless people are pitiful people. They are always looking for someone to help them rather than help themselves or looking for people to blame for their plight instead of solving their problems. Visionless people are petty people. They focus on small petty things rather than things that are truly important. There is an old cliche which states, "They major in the minors and minor in the majors." Ultimately, visionless people are powerless people. Everything is a problem, every obstacle is insurmountable, and, as a result, little or no progress is made.
On the other hand, people who have a vision are principled, positive, patient, and powerful. They have values that guide them, beliefs that encourage them, and strength that sustains them while waiting and working for their vision to become a reality. The vision we are developing today will give us the faith we need in the future and will also give us the power we need to solve today's problems as we build a better tomorrow.
In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas