“Where there is no vision,
the people are unrestrained….”
– Proverbs 29:18
Longtime Alabama head football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant knew what vision was all about. In his book, Bear Bryant on Leadership, Pat Williams says, “Bryant saw the future before it arrived. He saw over the horizon before others even opened their eyes. He saw victory parades in the streets and facilities already built. He even saw his team’s national championship trophies glistening in the light before they were won. In a career that spanned thirty-eight years, Bryant’s teams won 323 games and six national championships. Coach Bryant’s vision went far beyond X’s and O’s, game plans and wins and losses. His vision included academics, life skills for his athletes, media and sports publicity and having the best athletic facilities in the nation. He even established a scholarship program that has allowed more than 700 children of former players to attend the University of Alabama. Being a visionary leader, like Bear Bryant, does three things: (1) it keeps you focused; (2) it keeps you fueled; and (3) it helps you finish.
Vision is the bridge between the present and the future. Without it, we meander from one thing to another. A lack of vision causes us to settle for the path of least resistance in each decision we make. Vision is not only what we see, but the way we see. There is an old story about three bricklayers that helps illustrate what it looks like when people take ownership of a vision: There were three bricklayers working beside each other on a wall. Someone came up to the first one and said, “What are you doing?” “What’s it look like I’m doing?” he replied sarcastically. “I’m laying bricks!” The man asked the next guy on the wall what he was doing. He said, “Can’t you see what I’m doing? I’m building a wall.” Then the last man was asked what he was doing. He enthusiastically exclaimed, “I’m building a great cathedral for God!” Vision causes people to love their work because they can see the big picture. Is your vision a little blurred? In order to see clearly, we must not only know God’s ways, but keep His rules. If we could only envision what God sees for each of us. I’m guessing it’s not a brick, or a wall, but a great cathedral for Him.
Heavenly Father, you are a God of vision. Help me to understand that I’m a part of your vision. Open my eyes today to see the vision you have for me and to carry it out. Amen.