Without a vision for where we want our lives to go, we drift. We float from experience to experience hoping to find some fulfillment. We chase pleasure instead of purpose and ultimately find ourselves frustrated that things didn’t turn out as we hoped. Proverbs 29 goes as far as to say that people perish when they don’t have a vision. That’s a pretty strong statement but it rings true in the people I’ve met with no real vision for their lives.
They may not be literally dead but they’re a bit like zombies, living out their lives with no real joy, passion, or sense of belonging to something greater than themselves.
A vision for our lives gives us a reason to keep going when the going gets tough. When obstacles come, we don’t give up because we hold a greater vision than simply what’s in front of us. We take our licks because it’s worth it. We deal with difficult people, we get up after setbacks, and we keep moving forward because the vision inspires us, even demands us, to reach for the prize.
A vision for our lives pushes us to grow, learn, and stay healthy. The interesting thing about a great vision is that it requires us to become better people than we currently are. When I had the vision to plant a church, I had to grow into a person who listens better, endures much, and stays physically and emotionally healthy. When I wrote my first novel, I had to learn about story structure, formatting, and promotion. You cannot accomplish big things without being willing to grow, learn, and work your butt off.
So what about discovering a life-vision? When you have one, it helps to guide you into the future with purpose and fulfillment. It keeps you from wasting months and years floating around wondering what you’re supposed to do with your life. Well, here’s a big question that will help you when you’re trying to make sense of your future and move from uncertainty to focus.
What do I want the end result of my life to be?
Like any good plan, we have to start with the completed results and then work our way backward. Our lives are really no different. Do we want to be able to look back at our lives and say that we did our best to lead our families? Do we want to be able to say that we helped the less fortunate, were generous with our time or made a positive impact on the world around us?
Grab a notebook and a pen and spell it out. Journal, seek the Lord and determine what you want to be said about you at your funeral. How do you want to be remembered?
Don’t worry about getting it wrong. Writing out a vision for your life does not mean that it’s now set in stone. It just means that you now have some direction, which is a huge step in the right direction for many people. Now you can tweak it, pray over it some more, expand it, and dream about how you will get from where you are to where you want to be someday.
Also, once you have a vision, you can start to define your purpose and mission in life. But you can’t do that until you’ve established a vision.
I hope that you’ll take this question seriously and start to do the work to develop your life vision. There are very few things that you can do that will lead to more meaningful decisions, more fulfillment, and greater growth.