“A man without a vision is a man without a future. A man without a future will always return to his past.” (P.K. Bernard)
“Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law” Proverbs 29:18
Vision is the bridge between the present and the future. Without it we perish or go “unrestrained,” as the New American Standard Bible puts it. Vision gives purpose to pain. Those without vision spend their lives taking the path of least resistance as they try to avoid pain, discomfort and the unfamiliar. I remember one of my mentors saying to me, “Major, the level of sacrifice that a vision requires will determine the size of people who follow.” In other words, one’s ability to “see” one’s future will be measured by his/her willingness to endure the effort, pain and arduous work required to accomplish the feat.
For instance, my brother Melvin, had just graduated from high school and joined the Army. Now, my brother was as tough of a character as they came. He did not play around with anyone who meant him harm. However, as soon as he stepped off the boot camp bus, the sergeant started yelling at him. He was demanded to march over to the barbershop and get his head shaved. Then he was up early in the morning to exercise with someone screaming at him and talking about our mother. Just a month before all of this, he was in high school. He would have never put up with any of this nonsense from his teachers, classmates or fellas in the neighborhood. But somehow his whole mindset had changed. You see, his mindset had to change because of what he was trying to accomplish, was on the other side of the pain, effort, humiliation and discomfort. He realized that boot camp was preparing him for a greater destiny. His VISION of the future gave his present physical discomfort meaning and purpose.
Unfortunately, far too many of us go through life without VISION and proper perspective. We spend our days walking a crooked path, believing that every obstacle in the road is a problem and something to be avoided. But notice what the second part of this Proverb says, “But happy is he who keeps the Law.” The law isn’t just something God gave to Moses. It is also the restraint, boundaries and disciplines we develop around our life to help direct us through obstacles instead of around them. These obstacles become part of the plan of God to help develop our character, so we can ultimately make our VISION reality.
As a church, our VISION is “Being a full time caring church that searches for the lost”. Are you willing to endure the challenges, the effort, and yes, sometimes discomfort, to help us reach our God given destination of reaching out to our community with the gospel of Jesus Christ in 2018?
Rev. Dr. Major A. Stewart, Pastor
Greater Mt. Sinai Baptist Church
Sunday, January 7, 2018