This is going to be an excellent year folks. Better believe it.
I want to tell you an interesting story. A short one.
Recently, I was introduced to a new customer. We became friends and on one of my visits, we shared stories. Turns out my new friend had been a missionary and returned from the field to do enter the market.
First, she engaged in civil service. She was a Data Entry personnel. She also formatted software codes. While at it, she realized she loved the idea of coding. She had a 6th sense for it. She became a software technician after obtaining college education. She then started her own business.
All this followed a discussion about – The Need to Bring Your Dreams to Life – for which I was looking for feedback. While she listened to a recording of it, she stopped. And with a heavy heart, she told me of an idea she once had to start and run a business project abroad which involved training young girls.
She knew it was inspiration from heaven. However, she did nothing and she was basically expressing regret. Here’ what happened.
Earlier in her life, she had a vision.
Exuberant, she told this to “all” her peers and family members. Unfortunately, her vision and enthusiasm was met with a barrage of disdain, opposition, negativity, hate, jealousy, threats, and expressions of fears.
Needless to say, all this, coming from a circle of people whom she loved but who barely knew her passion and had their faith senses burnt. This essentially wounded that call from the future to join God in the work of transforming the lives of young girls.
This discouraging episode shutdown her faith in this vision. The still small inner voice which said, “It is possible” grew thin and silent as she stopped listening to it. She gave up the vision because of the fear of man. She let it go. This was over 20 years ago.
Fortunately, over two decade later, our conversation awakened this passion again. Actually, one statement did. It was a lesson I learned from Rabbi Daniel Lapin which is this –
Having a vision is necessary. But, sharing that vision, is not.
Initially, she was fired up. But before she materialized her vision, it was shut down. Others may not have been able to see the vision as a possibility, but it didn’t mean our friend could not. Others projected their fears on her vision. They convinced her otherwise. This is sad because –
The fact that big dreams seem impossible is precisely what makes them a promising adventure, if you are up for it.
What made this story sadder is that doors of opportunity had begun opening to her. She came into favor with the ruling authorities of this country and received a significant piece of real estate to start her vision.
Did I mention this real estate was a gift, a sign of appreciation for the vision?
God was throwing signs at her. But, after she became discouraged, she never returned to develop the property. Hence, it was seized and she lost it. But its okay. She didn’t need to share the vision. And even though she received opposition, she didn’t have to give up.
Within a few days after our little chit-chat, she made plans to take a trip abroad, taking her work with her. I found out about two weeks later. She moved out of her house and then booked a flight abroad.
She did make it to her destination and it seems her plans are falling into place. She found someone willing to speak to the County authorities to reclaim her property. She is in her 50’s. When you age, you realize just how precious time is. You realize just how important making an effort for your dream really is.
She didn’t have to stop earning a living. No! She carried her work with her for the duration of time she was gone. She has begun developing this dream alongside earning a living. She may be returning married too. Good for her.
But, let’s defer for a moment to ancient Jewish wisdom.
There are two stories that shed light on this thought. We should always talk about about vision. It keeps us “alive.” But, how and with whom is another story. Its a skill. Here they are –
Exuberant Joseph shared God given dreams and visions of leadership with his brothers. He shared the details. And he did it more than once. Even though his brothers weren’t pleased with him, Joseph was caught between a excitement and arrogance. Well, you know the rest of the story.
Instead, they opposed him, not the idea, saying –
“Do you think you are going to be a king and rule over us (1)?” \
Even his father said,
“What kind of dream is that? Do you think your mother, your brothers, and I are going to come and bow down to you (2)?”
Joseph was betrayed and it took about 22 years for Joseph’s dream to materialize and for him to be reunited with his family. Could Joseph’s dream have happened some other way? Though the answer is maybe, I would say – yes – because life is full of possibilities. But, God causes all things to work together for our good.
Here’s the point:
Be careful about how and with whom you share your ideas, plans, and vision. At least, make prudence your closest friend. If you are not confident enough or mentally strong enough to dismiss negatory remarks, act wisely. Also –
When you share an idea or a vision with someone or a group of people and instead of your idea receiving constructive criticism, YOU are being criticized, be concerned.
It tells you that your current audience is not the right one to bounce your ideas or brainstorm on your vision. It tells you that your audience is not invested in your growth and future.
Just a thought.
Covert Visionary –
Nehemiah in his early years was a noble wine steward. He heard that his homeland, now part of the Persian empire, was in ruins. He first engaged Emperor Artaxerxes (the father of Xerxes from the movie “300”) to allow him to return to his kin with contracts for supplies to build the broken city.
He arrived the city but kept his plans a secret. This is how his movements are described. We read of Nehemiah,
“I went to Jerusalem, and for 3 days I did NOT tell anyone what God had inspired me to do for Jerusalem. Then in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, I got up and went out, taking A FEW of my companions with me.”
Then later, after scoping the area and devising plans for reconstruction, we read,
“NONE of the local officials knew where I had been or what I had been doing. So far I had not said anything to any of my fellow-Jews—the priests, the leaders, the officials, or anyone else who would be taking part in the work (3).”
But, once he saw what the city looked like and estimated what he needed to do, he proceeded with caution and with carefully crafted words to inform those who would be involved. Once he had developed his vision into the planning stage, he shared it with his kin – those who would assist him in the rebuilding of the city. Why now?
At least, if the people could not believe in his imagined vision, they would be able to visualize it now that Nehemiah had plans drawn out and some concepts explained. Its no surprise that with these skills, Nehemiah subsequently became Governor of this city. His actions give us the last clue.
Both stories have a happy ending. However, one, even though its entertaining, is more painful and unfolds over a lengthy amount of time. But life is short. In order to make good use of the time, it is profitable to be shrewd.
Yes! Having a vision is necessary. Nevertheless, sharing that vision is NOT!
I wish you success in all your inspired endeavors. Life is not full of surprises, you are. Be strong. Be courageous. May your going out and coming in be blessed. This is going to be an excellent year.
One Love, One Spirit
Endnotes: 1) Genesis 37:8 (2) Genesis 37:10 (3) Nehemiah 2:11-12, 16, (4) Proverbs 29:18, (5) Cover picture retrieved from otvet.mail.ru