I have been challenged on my not-so-healthy habit of using my overactive imagination to develop scenarios of how I would like things to turn out in my life and relationships. You might say I am a hopeful and positive person, but why don't we just call it what it is: fantasizing.
Expectations for things to turn out in a certain way (always to my advantage, of course) are just a set-up for disappointments which lead to emotional turmoil and depression when things go wrong. This in turn causes stress and perhaps bitterness and anger and I end up being less than productive for a period of time as I recover from the devastation.
I don't have to be devastated -I just have to give up my fantasies. My hope should never be in a certain scenario anyway - it should be in God's ability to be true to his character. That never disappoints.
I have been following a discussion online stemming from a post that says all this vision casting is counterproductive and kills (murders) the life of a church or relational group of people such as a family. Very interesting indeed. I would not state things quite as strongly, but I do agree that spending days in a room with people writing a vision or mission statement seems relatively useless in my mind (except when government regulations demand a document of said nature). Writing out a vision statement has very little to do with reality in most cases. I am not knocking those leaders who feel this is how they work best, but I personally am learning that God is the initiator and I am the responder and I must trust him day by day to reveal what is important for this time. Trusting God to lead me takes all the stress out of having to make my life a success by any one's standards as I strive toward some man-made goal.
The goal is Jesus. The vision is of Jesus. Anything else falls short.
This picture is of my friends' dog, Millie, who thinks this look will manipulate you to feed her. This post was written while eating a homemade banana bran muffin and sipping chai green tea.