Where You Are Vs. Where You Want To Be
Vision—it’s an ability to see not just what is and where you are but also what could happen and where you want to be.
Great things rarely happen without clear vision. Great leaders become great leaders because of their vision. Great businesses grow because of visionary people who see what could be and work to make it happen. Great nations begin with vision.
At the same time, there is another value that seems to compete with or even contradict vision: contentment. I have often thought of contentment as accepting and being satisfied with what is and putting aside aspirations for something different.
And you can see how valuing one or the other makes a difference. It seems like the small “mom and pop” business and the tiny church which has faithfully served the same 100 people for the last 20 years stand on the value of contentment. Meanwhile, the huge Walmarts and the Life Churches of today stand on the value of vision.
But here is the tension. If biblical leaders such as Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joseph, Joshua, David, Jesus (being God, by the way), and Paul had practiced satisfaction with what is and had not pursued what could be, I wouldn’t be here writing another blog post.
Somehow, these leaders’ lives show that it is possible to be content in every circumstance while still pursuing a vision of what could be…a picture of the future that is different from what is.
As I have recently written, life in our family has taken a sudden, drastic turn related to the health of my wife. My question is, how can I accept what is true now and practice contentment while still pursuing a better future for her and our family?
Can I be content and still long for something better?
Can you be content where you find yourself and, at the same time, push forward to something better?
Bluntly, I am wrestling with this one. You might be expecting three points on how to be content while pursuing a better future. I’m sorry to disappoint, but it isn’t in me today. Instead, I am going to sit with this conflict for a bit and talk it over with God.
Put another way, the question I am really wrestling with is this: “How do I accept where God has me and stay faithful in this moment while also faithfully pursuing a bright, God-honoring future? How do I integrate contentment with vision and aspirations?”
I am going to ponder, pray, meditate, and discuss this with God and a few friends in the coming days and will share any discoveries that take place. (Keep your expectations in check, please.) I invite you to wrestle with this question too, and I believe wisdom will come from the process.
How? For some reason, wisdom usually is birthed not in head knowledge but in the wrestling. An idea can be written about, shared in a message, conveyed in a movie, and more, but for it to sink into the depths of our souls, we need to really grapple with it. This kind of wrestling is grueling. It takes commitment, endurance, determination, and grit.
So for now, I will be content with wrestling over the tension between contentment and aspirations with determination and grit.