|"Looking Ahead but Not Too Far"|
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George Barna, author of the book, “How to Find Your Church” wrote,
“Vision is the ability to understand the history, the present condition, and the potential of the church, and to conceive a plan for action that will maximize the ministry potential. More often than not, vision is a result of having spent much time absorbing the facts about the community, knowing the resources upon which the church can call (people, funding, facilities, equipment, etc.), and devising sound but creative strategies for moving forward. Vision always entails progress: it is never satisfied with the status quo.”
Here’s what is applicable to all of us: “Vision always entails progress: it is never satisfied with the status quo.” When a person begins to stop looking ahead and becomes satisfied with the status quo, stagnancy will set in as anticipated. If no one looked ahead, we may not have in our time many things invented and if no one looked ahead to try to do what seems unattainable, nothing could have been achieved, e.g., the momentous travel to the moon, dawn of the computer technology and many others. The straightforward fact is this: there were many dreamers that saw what seems impossible and achieved their dreams in the face of the status quo. In what they have pursued to do, we were direct beneficiaries of all that they have attained. They were men and women who contributed to change the world we lived in, whether in the political, business, technological, medical and many other areas. They steadfastly looked forward for a better tomorrow. And presently, many are still pursuing dreams and looking ahead. Are you one of them?
What’s the main reason why many have stopped in doing so? The simple reason being that they’ve thought that their own potential is maximized and there’s nothing more to do. Sadly, it is a cynical attitude that causes many to stay put instead of looking ahead. Disappointingly, others were doing the opposite: looking at the past glories achieved as their template to apply in their present situation. On the contrary, looking ahead is about hopefulness in the future especially when God is involved, “…nothing is impossible to those who believe” (Matthew 17:20).
Here’s a scriptural verse to chew over, “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil” (Proverbs 4:25-27 ESV)). Allow me to share a poem I came across to illustrate this scriptural truth entitled, “Don’t Look Back:”
As you travel through life there are always those times
when decisions just have to be made,
when the choices are hard and solutions seem scarce
and the rain seems to soak your parade!
There are some situations where all you can do
is to simply let go and move on,
gather courage together and choose a direction
that carries you toward a new dawn.
So pack up your troubles and take a step forward.
The process of change can be tough.
But think about all the excitement ahead,
if you can be stalwart enough!
There could be adventures you never imagined
just waiting around the next bend
and wishes and dreams just about to come true
in ways you can’t yet comprehend!
Perhaps you’ll find friendships that spring from new interests,
as you challenge your status quo
and learn there are so many options in life,
and so many ways you can grow!
Perhaps you’ll go places you never expected
and see things that you’ve never seen,
or travel to fabulous, faraway worlds
and wonderful spots in between!
Perhaps you’ll find warmth, affection and caring,
a "somebody special" who’s there
to help you stay centered
and listen with interest to stories and feelings you share.
Perhaps you’ll find comfort in knowing your friends
are supportive of all that you do
and believe that whatever decisions you make,
they’ll be the right choices for you!
So keep putting one foot in front of the other
and taking your life day by day.
There’s a brighter tomorrow that’s just down the road.
Don’t look back; you’re not going that way! - Author Unknown
Let’s talk again!