October 30, 2012

Image versus Vision

I have many thoughts running through my mind. Things I want to talk about. So I'm sifting and sorting and conglomerating. First things first.

I returned from my trip to the east coast on Sunday. The day the hurricane hit. I sat in the airport on Sunday morning kicking myself for not going with the first flight of the day. You always have a better chance of getting out when you start first thing in the morning. Thankfully, we made it out with no problems. As we were taxiing it began raining and the pilot said it was the forefront of Hurricane Sandy. Thank you, Jesus. Just in the nick of time. 

On my flight from Harrisburg to Detroit I read a lot and thought a lot and out of that time something struck me very deeply in the center of my heart. I had just finished reading an article about a practice of reading a mother had with her children. My first thought was how much I'd like to do that. My next thought was, No, don't do that to yourself. Don't put pressure on yourself to be That Woman. The one who does everything always right the way that you'd like to do.

But as I thought about it I realized that I had missed something important in my quest not to be her.


Vision versus Image.

An image is something that's fixed, static, unmoving, unchanging. When I have an image of the type of woman that I'd like to be, there's no bend to her. She's this way no matter what and anything less or different is not her; thus, it's wrong. Translation: I'm failing. Again.

Vision is vastly, radically different. Vision is an idea, a goal, an ideal. Vision is flexible, living, moving. When I have a vision, an idea, of the type of woman that I'd like to be, it's a goal to move towards. It's something to keep my eye on as I move along the path of life.

An image shows me that I'm not there and probably never will be.

A vision gives me an idea of much closer I am than I was last week, last year, 5 years ago. I have something to mark my progress, not my failure.

Philippians 3:12-16 speaks of this as well.

In my desire not to weigh myself down with unrealistic expectations, I don't want to fall off the wagon on the other side. No, I will never make perfect decisions. But I can start to make consistently better ones than I did before. Lord help me if I turn 50 the same person I am today. I'd like to at least have some new problems and said goodbye to some old ones. To know what I'm looking for helps me to better find it.

2nd Peter 1:5-8 exhorts us to add to our faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Just this morning in 1st Thessalonians I read several places in which Paul commended them on their love for one another and then exhorted them to increase still more and more.

If we have a picture (or vision) of the type of person we'd like to be, then, together with the work of the Holy Spirit living in us, we know to add to who we are. If we're excelling in certain areas, fantastic, let's excel even more. If we lack a certain quality, then let's add to it. I love what Lysa TerKeurst said in Unglued, I may not be gentle by nature, but I can be gentle by obedience.

What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

Vision will help you, and me, get there.


  1. Sara
    I have never thought about image and vision in this way. It is true, when I have an image of the mom, the wife, that I should be- when my actions don't meet that image, I either tend to give up. Or try harder. Both frustrating.
    But if I have a vision of myself in those roles it brings freedom. It brings goals and ideas for getting there.
    Thank you for sharing your insight.
    Loved being your roomie- so grateful our paths crossed!

    1. Thanks, Melanie! I'm so thankful our paths crossed too!

  2. Great wisdom. I like how CS Lewis say's this:

    “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    1. Babe, I love you. You're so smart and wise.