Burden and Vision


This is Part 2 in my series on Familiarity. View my previous entry here.

There is a difference between an idea and a vision. Ideas come and go in the moment, but vision remains. Because of this, vision isn’t born in a moment, but by process. And I have found that the best visions have burdens behind them.

When you have a burden backing up your vision, it drives you. It wakes you up in the morning, and keeps you dreaming when you’re lying in bed at night. When you don’t have burden backing your vision, it’s easy to lay aside when things get hard. But when you’re truly burdened by something, it’s difficult to ignore. Vision doesn’t have to be your own—it can be imparted to you by someone else—but no one can give you their burden for something. That you must get on your own.

So how does familiarity play into all of this?

In my previous entry, I presented the idea that familiarity leads to an awareness of need, which leads to compassion, which leads to vision, which leads to action. For this entry, substitute the word “compassion” with “burden”.

Burdens don’t usually come when we’re shut up in a conference room or a cabin in the woods, searching for it. But it does help to have your mind clear, and those things can serve that purpose. Burdens come in the day-to-day grind of life—in ordinary and familiar places—as we bump up against a broken world where things have gone terribly wrong, far different than how God intended. And it’s in the middle of this brokenness that burdens are developed.

Once you’re burdened for something, once you’ve tapped into that cause burning inside of you, it’s far easier to get vision. The burden is the driving force, but the vision is what you do about it. The burden is your inward motivation to do something externally that helps to heal the brokenness of the world.

If you feel lost and confused, if you’re looking for a reason to get out of bed in the morning, if you’ve lost your vision and are seeking to regain it … just keep showing up to life. The greatest temptation when you’re in this place is to shut out the world, to retreat to just going through the motions of life. It’s a trap. There will be times when you get knocked down, but get up. Keep showing up. Be present. Because it’s there—often in the mundane—that your burden will develop. And out of that burden, vision will be born.

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