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Discerning Vision

We have heard that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. While this is true, that single step requires a direction as well as motivation and inspiration. Starting the journey requires a vision. 

Sometimes finding a vision is easy, both problem and solution are readily apparent. However, most often this vision is elusive, hiding at the edges of our awareness. How can we bring clarity to this vision that guides and inspires our journey?

I invite you to set aside some time for vision. Bring along some paper and a pen, your journals, planners, calendars, whatever you use to capture the events of your days. Scan through the past month or so and notice the events that provoked the strongest reaction whether positive or negative. Look for the times where you were most excited, joyful, or energized. Look for the times when you were angry, distressed, or discouraged.

Sit for a while with the three or four strongest responses. What is the deeper longing behind your response to these events? What possibility inspired your excitement, joy, and energy? What knowledge of things not being as they should be caused your anger, distress, and discouragement? In both the highs and the lows, we find hints to a vision in the deeper longings behind our emotions.

As you consider these deeper longings, what ties them together? What themes link them? Try not to be too concerned with how at this point. We have a thousand miles to figure out the how. At this point we are simply looking for the vision that directs and inspires the first step.

As you prayerfully consider these big themes that link your longings together, let a big picture form in your mind. What is the future possibility that brings things closer to the way they should be in some way?

Now, try to summarize this vision in one sentence. At this point, the sentence need only make sense to you. This is the sentence that directs that first step and the sentence that sustains and inspires the two millionth step that completes the journey of a thousand miles.

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