Wednesday, February 19, 2014
We hear the word vision knocked around a lot in business and entrepreneur circles and sometimes even in church. But few people really understand the concept.
People with vision see what others don’t. They might all be looking at the same thing, but they don’t see the same thing and if they do, they see it differently.
Helen Keller was once asked what could be worse than being born blind. Her response was having sight but no vision. It is possible to have sight with no vision. One writer put it most elegantly when he said, “We are covered under the same sky, but we don’t have the same horizon.”
Vision is not just a way of seeing things but seeing things that others do not yet see. It is not just seeing things a certain way but seeing in things, things that others miss.
People with vision are usually pressing for change with the intent of making things better. What we see in our minds eye we can create.
Many times skills and abilities are present to make a person a success, but in their mind’s eye they cannot see themselves the success they are capable of being. The challenge for this person is to have a vision of what can be, or on a more personal level a vision of what he or she can be.
A picture is worth a thousand words so let me get out my canvas and paint for you.
The story is told of a bishop who paid a visit to a small religious college. His host was the young president of the college who was also the professor of physics and chemistry. During their after dinner talk the bishop opined that the millennium could not be far away because all that there was to be discovered had been discovered and science has invented everything conceivable already.
The young college president respectfully disagreed with the bishop’s statements. In a huff and a puff the bishop challenged the president to name one such invention. The president replied by telling him that he believed that within 50 years from then men would be able to fly. The bishop dismissed the president’s prediction as nonsense, telling him that if God intended man to fly he would have given him wings.
If you have heard the story before, even a different version, you will recognize that bishop to be Bishop Wright.
Bishop Wright had two sons at home who had the vision that their father lacked. Their names were Orville and Wilbur.
And you know the rest of the story.
The father and son lived under the same sky, but they had different horizons. The sons saw things not just as they were, but as they could be.
People with vision create changes in our world. People with vision look beyond the ordinary and the obvious or they see the ordinary with new eyes. The story is told of two shoe salesmen who were dispatched to a certain location in Africa years ago to try and develop some business for their company.
The first salesman sent a telegram to his headquarters, which read, “People here don’t wear shoes. No chance for sales.”
The second salesman’s telegram said, “People here wear no shoes, the market is wide open.”
They both saw the same thing but not the same way. One saw obstacle, the other opportunity. We all do not see things the same way. Vision makes a difference.
The Rev. Dr. Valentine Williams is an inspirational public speaker. He also conducts seminars and workshops related to Christian growth and development; as well as engaging in professional and personal development training. You can reach him with your questions, comments or for personal engagements at firstname.lastname@example.org.