visionless: it is my claim that this is the most attractive but most insidious yeast undermining religious communities. Vision has a devious way of focusing our attention outside of ourselves to some lofty external goal, rather than keeping ourselves committed to love and service in the community, then as a result beyond the immediate community by the outpouring of the overflow. Jesus’ vision, if it could be said he had any vision at all, was to die… to hand himself over to the authorities, etc. Any other vision than the vision to be willing to die is one that decides who can play and who cannot for the longevity of the vision and it’s crafters. It defines the shape and nature of the community and the people within it, often with violence against the natural goodness and innate spirituality of its people. It is vision that eventually and inevitably changes an institution into stone.
Lately, I’ve been chewing on David Hayward’s work on becoming visionless. (His book on the subject)
In so many ways this concept deeply resonates with my experience. And in so many ways it deeply offends my experience.
On the one hand, my own words would argue that if you don’t have a clearly defined vision for yourself you’ll be paralyzed by your inability to say no to good/bad things that come your way. Vision permits lazer-like focus.
On the other hand, I’m haunted by the reality that often times I’m saying no to things that are close to me, forsaking the organic opportunity for one cultivated in alignment with my vision.
In my mind vision allows me to filter. That’s why David’s words are annoying me so much. Who am I to try to put a filter on what God puts right before me? Who am I to forsake the organic for the cultivated?
Question: What would your life look like if you were to reorientate yourself around Hayward’s words above. (Put aside your ability to disagree with him, just imagine what your life would be like if this were true and it became a guide. How would yourlife change?)