When I was young I enjoyed our family gatherings, meeting my dad’s cousins and hearing the stories they would tell. One of the American cousins, Richard, used to tell stories of days out with his children. They would play the left right game. The two children would take it in turns to choose whether they went left or right, irrespective of the final destination. They would do it all day and see where they got to. As a child I thought it sounded like great fun. However, having no fixed destination effects your driving, you slow down, you drive more leisurely, after all, you don’t have anywhere you need to get to.
As I think about where I am going in life and relate it to my self, my family, my church and the businesses I work with I can see in certain areas the same principles operating. Where there is no fixed destination, where there isn’t an objective, there won’t be any corresponding intentional deliberate moves to get there, to achieve the goal, reach the destination, fulfil the vision. In biblical terms you are probably already quoting the scripture, ‘Where there is no vision the people perish’ or ‘cast off restraint’ Prov 29:18.
We need a vision, we need to know where we are going or we will perish, or cast off restraint. Just thinking for a moment about restraint, when I am focussed on achieving certain things I don’t do that which will hinder me from getting there. I restrain myself from certain activities to get to where I want to. I have heard that ballerinas don’t swim because it develops the wrong muscles needed for ballet. If you are training for a marathon you restrain yourself from eating certain foods and discipline yourself to run so that when the day comes you will complete the race.
With a vision you are beginning with the end in mind, and starting with the end in mind focuses your activities accordingly. Knowing the end goal will govern your activities, your thinking, your time and effort. This isn’t about works, but it is about ‘doing’. And just to defuse the argument that we are not human ‘doings’ but ‘beings’, yes I agree with that but if your ‘being’ (waiting on God, knowing Him as Father, living without striving to be accepted etc) doesn’t result in ‘doing’ then I suggest you are not ‘being’. You cannot have ‘being’ without ‘doing’, though you can have ‘doing’ on its own and it is called performance orientation, a result of shame….but that is a whole other subject for another day!
Having the end in mind is a godly principle. It is something the Lord does.
“”Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;”
Isaiah 46:9-10 NASB
God declares the end from the beginning, He has a purpose and throughout the bible we can read of that purpose. Everything he does is in light of His purpose and end goal. The salvation of man, the glorification of the Son, the kingdom of God coming, maybe we could sum it up with the word redemption. He has a purpose, and if it’s not too harsh, if you are not on page…get with the program.
Redemption is: the buying back, salvation
How does that relate to me now? I don’t feel I can effect the heavens coming to earth, I don’t feel I can change world leaders and solve world poverty and bring peace to the wars that rage. But I can be an agent of God Kingdom where I am, and as believers, if we all have that in mind, bringing His kingdom into effect in the lives of people around us then I believe we will see change. It starts with the end in mind. We cannot be agents of the kingdom if we don’t know the purpose of the King, if we don’t represent him effectively.