A Note from Pastor Rick
Write the Vision
2 Then the LORD answered me and said:
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. 3 For there is still a vision for the appointed time; It speaks of the end and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; It will surely come, It will not delay.
Folks seem to think that not everyone has a vision. I would, respectfully, disagree. If I changed the word “vision” to “expectation” then how many people would have that? A vision, after all, is what is expected. If it is not expected, then it is merely a dream.
Everyone has expectations. They may not be conscious, but they are there. Our past experiences all help shape our expectations. If we had a good experience, then we hope to repeat that. If we had a bad experience, then we hope NOT to repeat that. If we had good experiences in church as we grew up, then we want the current church experience to mimic that. The rituals, the songs, the smells, sights and sounds all become part of our “vision” of what the church should be.
Many of these expectations are buried deep within us. That is what makes “visions” rare. We have the vision, but it is hidden away. God tells Habakkuk to write the vision, make it plain. God wants the prophet to bring the vision out of the subconscious. The prophet knows the stories from “the good old days” when Israel was a great Kingdom, when Jerusalem was a golden city, when God smiled on the people and they prospered. Now they are in captivity, far from their homeland. Jerusalem lies in ruins. God wants the people to stop dreaming and believe strongly in the vision. To expect that it will happen.
A vision comes from deep within. It is not something that can be laid on someone. Habakkuk was a member of the community and he spoke of the community’s longing for the return to the land of promise. That longing was held deep inside the community. There were, undoubtedly, others who tried to communicate a much different vision. There is no record of those people (though there are many references to the false prophets).
In my discussions with a career coach, she suggested that I form a series of expectations in my mind before I go to a performance or a meeting. Actors, dancers, singers may do this before a performance. In fact, many coaches will say that the performance is good or bad before the audience sees it. The same is true in sports. Visualizing how the game is going to go will often make the difference between winning and losing. If I get a clear picture in my mind of what I expect to happen, I have a much better chance of having a good performance or a good meeting.
The same holds true for going to a worship service or a Sunday School class or a session meeting. Having an idea of what to expect will help you get into the experience. Ultimately that will make that experience more valuable.
When we share those expectations, then we discover that other people have similar visions. Out of those similar visions comes a shared vision. This is a vision that come from the heart of the group – not something laid on the group by outsiders or by institutions. In order to do this successfully we must first explore our own expectations. Then we must be able to talk honestly about our expectations with others. This is how we arrive at any vision for any group.
What are your expectations?
Write the vision… make it plain on tablets.
Your pastor, Rick