Word of the Year: Vision
"I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams." Numbers 12:6
Have you ever made a vision board?
My writing group made vision boards together for the new year. Together we cut up magazines, shuffled around words and images on poster boards, and glued things that spoke to the vision we each had for the coming year.
Each vision board was organized differently, with images and words that captured some kind of essence we hoped the coming year would hold for us too.
I put mine up in my office when I got home and every time I see it now, I see phrases like "a purposeful pace" or "you're good enough" and images that hold meaning to me.
The new year hasn't even started yet, but every time I glance up at my vision board I'm reminded of my hopes, dreams, and prayers for the next year and I look back down at my desk inspired and ready to focus on the work set before me.
I think God often gives us dreams and visions for the next season because they will carry us through the current one.
Throughout the Bible, God gives His people prophetic words, promises, and images to hold onto until the time comes when they actually happen.
Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." In the Message translation it reads,
"If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed."
The word "vision" really captures the heart behind this entire "word of the year" series.
Without vision, we are directionless. When I start a creative project I'll often use the phrase, "I have a vision." My husband thinks this is so funny, because he's more of a planner than I am. I almost never have a step by step process, but I always have a vision.
When I convinced him to let me paint a mural on one of our walls, he kept asking me what the plan was. He wanted to know how many colors I was using, what colors I was using, what shapes were going where and wanted to know if I needed to measure anything and what tools I needed. I drug him with me to buy paint and I didn't have answers to any of his questions.
I just kept saying, "trust me, I have a vision."
When I finished painting the wall, we both loved how it turned out and I told my husband it looked exactly like how I thought it would based on the vision in my head with some minor adjustments I had made along the way.
I think life with God is this way a lot. He doesn't give us the answer to all of our specific questions. We don't get a step by step plan or a to-do list or specific deadlines like we'd often like.
But He does give us a vision, and the vision is more than enough.
When I choose a word for the year, I'm choosing something that will help me to focus on the vision God has revealed for that year.
Like a vision board, it is a reminder of hopes, dreams, and prayers for the coming year. It provides a reminder of the direction we are headed even if we are unsure of how exactly we might get there.
When God gives a vision, He is giving us direction.
He is bringing revelation to who He is and to what He is doing in our lives. It's a way that God gives us something to focus on, even if the other details seem blurry.
This word is for you if you feel like you lack focus. This word is for you if you want what God is doing to be revealed to you and to be the focus for the coming year. This word if for you if you long to see more clearly the vision that God has for your life, your community, and your relationships.
This word is for you if you long to see and encounter God in visions. I hope and pray that God gives you visions that will carry you through even when the details are unclear.
May you fill your "vision" journal with hopes, dreams, and prayers for the future and may He remind you of what He is doing through visions throughout the year.
And if "vision" isn't your word this year, I pray that He uses the word you choose to give you vision and focus for the coming year.