When I think about vision, I think about what could be—if I plant this sapling, if I cut out carbs, if I invest in this friendship. There is something that is not yet but has the potential to be if I were to do this one thing. So, my “vision” drives me to take a step in a direction to live differently.
Jesus did the same thing when he called Peter to follow him. “I will make you a fisher of men.” He saw in Peter what was not yet true of him and called him to something bigger. No big announcement in front of thousands, no shame for what he had not yet become – just a quiet pronouncement that he will become so much more as he follows the Savior. And Peter dropped his nets and followed.
I often wonder what it must have been like for the boy Jesus to live among mere mortals. Did He know that He was of superior intellect, superior morals, superior wisdom, than all those around him? What did He think the first time He realized that someone else in His family was lying? Or cheating? Or…sinning!
I like the idea that any vision we have for ourselves, our ministry, or even other people, needs to be grounded in God’s holiness. For even when we come to the place of realizing, like Isaiah, that, “I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips,” God’s holiness is not a “scorched earth policy.” His holiness is not only a consuming fire, it is the righteousness that redeems and transforms the unclean and makes them children.
This is the kind of transformation for which we yearn…the capacity to be soberly serious, yet eagerly light as we engage our hearts, families, communities and the world. In other words, to live hilarious lives…
In our routine gathering of worship, we often misunderstand that community is, at its heart, what Romano Guardini called “holy play”? Because we want to take seriously the pain, anxiety, and terror in the world, our worship is often sober, reaching out to those suffering. We have trouble finding our footing with a lightness of being that includes sober seriousness about realities in the world.