On Sunday we looked at how Nehemiah found a vision worth chasing. He wants to build the wall of Jerusalem, to heal a people, and to bring dignity back to the land. I think many of us want similar visions. We might not want to build a wall but we want to do something lasting, that has a legacy, and changes lives. So the question is where do you begin? How do you find God’s vision that’s specific to you?
Well I think the answer is simple. You start praying and paying attention. The first step is to pray. Start asking God to show you where your life should be going. Start asking God to reveal to you what you should be giving your life to and then start looking. But just don’t think of what you want to get rid of, think of what you want to create. Peter Senge writes, “Most adults have little sense of real vision. We have goals and objectives, but these are not visions. When asked what they want many adults will say what they want to get rid of. They’d like a better job – that is, they’d like to get rid of the boring job they have”. The point is Nehemiah didn’t want to just get rid of his job, he wanted to give himself to creating a whole people. Nehemiah wanted to be part of creating something, not just getting rid of something in his life. Nehemiah was given a burden to change the state of Israel. And this is often how visions begin: as burdens.
So start paying attention to your feelings and thoughts. Are there things that grab your heart, break your heart, that you want to create, or stir your desires? Here are some of the questions I ask:
- What passions has God give me?
- When I look out in my life what grabs me?
- If I could be doing something what would it be?
- What do I want to change around me?
Who knows what God might want to do with you. Maybe it’s for you to give your time and energy to save your marriage, to build a new business that values people and the planet, maybe it’s to start a ministry, maybe it’s to make people whole and healthy, maybe it’s to launch your kids well. The possibilities are endless, but ask God what do you want to create through with me.
Donald Miller writes this, “The ambitions we have will become the stories we live. If you want to know what a person’s story is about, just ask them what they want. If we don’t want anything we are living boring stories, and if we want a Roomba vacuum cleaner, we are living stupid stories. If it won’t work in a story, it won’t work in life.”
So what ambitions do you have? What type of life, community, family, neighborhood, or church do you want to create?
Spend time today with God asking him to reveal to you where your time and energy should go. And start paying attention to yourself because God has designed you with a specific purpose, passions, and plan. So what excites you, what burdens you, what change do you want to see? What do you want in life? And I hope it isn’t just a Roomba vacuum cleaner…..