An experienced skydiver will tell you there are two basic things you must have for a successful jump: Wear a parachute, deploy the parachute.
For personal success, the same is true. There are two basics you need in life: Have a vision, be committed to that vision.
The writer of Proverbs tells us: “Where there is no vision, people perish, but happy is he who keeps the word of the Lord.”
This means God’s Word has vision within it.
A vision is an idea, a picture of something that you do not have. A vision gives direction. To achieve, you must know what you want to achieve. One person said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably wind up somewhere else.”
In the tale of Alice in Wonderland, she falls down. Lost, she stops to ask the Cheshire Cat for directions. “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to go,” said the Cat. “I don’t care much where,” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” replied the Cat.
People struggle in so much of life because they have no vision. No vision of a rewarding, loving marriage, no vision of good health, no vision of a successful business or fulfilling career. Without a vision, they perish. Or as another translation says, “They cast off restraint.”
No one reaches excellence or success without restraint. You can’t go in 100 different directions and get to one destination. Vision creates a plan. A plan creates what must be done to get to your vision. You must restrain yourself to the one direction necessary to reach your destination.
In life, we call restraint “discipline.” Without it, you will struggle and likely never reach your destination. You can have Google Maps in your phone or the best written maps possible. But if you never lock on a destination (vision), you will still be lost.
Vision also keeps you motivated. When you lose vision, you lose purpose. And without it, you perish. If you don’t die on the outside, you die inside. You shrivel. You have nothing to live for.
Sir Edmond Hilary became the first man to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Can you imagine reporters asking why he did it and him replying, “Well, I don’t know really. I just went out for a walk one afternoon and next thing you know, I was on top of the mountain.”
No. Vision caused Edmond to plan, put together a team, find the right guides, get proper equipment and supplies. And all the while it restrained him. It restrained how he trained, what he did with his money, who he spent time with, what he focused on.
God is the giver of vision, direction, and destiny. Proverbs 4 says to trust in Him and He will direct your paths. John 16 says He shows you things to come. Ephesians 1 says He opens your eyes to see.
After a particularly busy day, I got home late one night. Tired and needing rest, my son came running to see me. “Hey, Dad,” he asked, “what ya been doing all day?” I responded, “Oh nothing much.” Puzzled, he asked, “Then how did you know when you were finished?” What great insight from a 6-year old! Without vision, we don’t have any measurement of achievement or growth. Just simply being busy.
Even Paul wrote, “I count not myself to have apprehended all God has for me. But one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, I reach forward to those things which are before me. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ.”
Paul is saying, “The vision God has shown me is my focus. It’s what I am straining for, reaching for, pressing towards.”
Remember, without a vision, people perish.