Vision: Born or learned?

For years I thought of vision as some incredible ability to formulate great statements that would inspire hearts to action. At other times vision seemed as the ability to address people in an inspiring way. While both can be expressed on a vision casting purpose, they are not vision at all.

I got a new meaning of the vision, when we bought our apartment.

Let me tell the first day we stepped into this apartment which was not ours at that time. It was a rainy day in Tirana. We were led to the 5th floor of this new block. The engineer of the company had insisted for us to see this apartment. And here we were, skeptical and tired from all that we had seen in the past 2 months. Floors, walls, toilets were not finished yet. He led us to the terrace, and there we were stunned. The five of us, standing there, while the sun was breaking through the dark clouds in a breathtaking view. The whole city was in front of us. Living down town where I had to shut the blinds of every window, in attempt to keep privacy from the buildings that surrounded us, having a free view apartment in Tirana seemed impossible.

We fell in love with this place from the first moment, and there is no day that I am not reminded of God’s faithfulness to provide for us a place like this. I have enjoyed so many incredible sunsets, and many great quite and beautiful mornings. But more than that, I have gained a new understanding of vision.

Vision is not the ability to articulate or formulate great impressing highly intelligent or professional statements, that would leave the audience speechless. Vision instead is the ability to see far and to see the whole picture or most of it. The reason I can see far in my new apartment even though our previous apartment was on the 8th floor and on a taller building, is the place where our apartment has been built on. It is built on a hill, and even in this hill it is built on a higher plot of land. There is no taller building close by that can hinder the view. The view is clear and it is breathtaking. There are days when mist covers everything, but I know what is there because I have seen the big picture in a clear sunny day. The most interesting thing is that I see how the sun shines on one part of the city, while on the other far end it is raining or dark. It has made me think of different seasons and times of nations.

 “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?”

For a leader vision is key. In the gospel of Luke, 6:39, we have Jesus saying that a blind can not lead other blind people, otherwise they all will fall into a pit. It is the one who sees, who can lead others to a place that he can paint not just by wishing thoughts or eloquent statements of how it can be, which will end up in disillusion, disappointment and even broken trust, due to false hopes. The one who sees lead others to a place or future that exists. They have not arrived there yet, but it does exist. He might not be able to paint it in detail, but enough to describe the main characteristics of it that will ignite hope and activate boldness. Then they will find the details together on the journey from here to there.

When we see the heroes of faith in the Bible, we can tell of their ability to see where God is leading them. They never led someone or even the nation on some abstract thinking or abstract places. The places or future where they called others to follow had a name, had characteristics: the land of honey and milk. Is it not interesting that apostle John describes to us even heaven ? Even though many things are still a mystery and we do not know how to picture them, we know that this place exists, it is our future, and this place which we can not comprehend how it looks like, is the place where God dwells, and where there will be no more tears or pain.

This ability did not come by some magical tricks or wish thoughts, but by the discipline of coming up higher, from earth level to heaven’s level, coming up to God’s presence, staying at His feet, in order to see things from His perspective and not from their own understanding and human reasoning or wisdom.

The sight comes by being with God, by listening of God’s voice and knowing of His character.

When we see it from this angle, can we be hopeful that vision can be learned and developed? That vision is not something only for those who are privileged or have been born with it, but it has to do more with following of Jesus closely? Has it more to do with having Jesus opening our eyes to see, rather than us opening our mouths in an impressive eloquent way?

I do believe that we can leave the audiences speechless and amaze them with our gifts or skills, but if what we picture does not match what God has, that does not serve at all. Actually that is an eloquent blind person who is leading other blinds to a pit.

Thus, let us come up higher, come up closer, follow Jesus and we will see

“Come and see”

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