Vision is a catch-phrase in leadership. As a leader, it’s one I’ve heard for about 20 years now. In fact, I know of pastors who are tired of hearing about it. I know people who call themselves “visionaries.” But that can just be an excuse to not do anything. In fact if you really have vision, you are motivated, directed and empowered to move. But that movement is toward a certain future.

And vision isn’t just for growing churches or leading teams. Vision is for every area of life that is lived. Without it, we make decisions that just don’t fit with the direction we want to go, or more importantly, the direction God wants us to go!

Let me share an experience with you – last weekend, my wife and I had the privilege of spending time with our whole family. Since our oldest son got married and moved 11 hours away and our #2 son went away to school some 15 hours away, and with our two youngest moving through high school at a break-neck speed, we hadn’t all been in the same room together for 15 months. And for a Dad (and Mom), that is painful! So, we made a weekend of it. We all got together in Omaha… and guess what I saw???? I saw the unfolding of a vision I’ve had for 24 years.

As we were raising our 4 boys, you can imagine the schedules, the busyness, the chaos, the silliness, and the trial that was part of every day. And in it all, it would be easy to forget what we’re doing and where we’re going. Management becomes the necessity of the moment. Keeping everyone safe, healthy and as happy as possible is the order of the day.

But since before our oldest was born, I have had a guiding picture – a vision. It fills every ounce of my heart. I wasn’t raising boys. I was raising men. These men would serve Christ and use their gifts for His kingdom. These men would love their wives, and have families that were devoted to Christ and these men would teach their children how to love and follow the Savior. This is a big picture to maintain when you have a 2 year old calling you Daddy. But it is this picture that carried me through times when I didn’t feel like I had the strength to go on, or the wisdom to know what to do. And there were many times when I forgot the vision and was controlled by the moment.

Last weekend that vision unfolded before me – I saw one of my men who is married to a woman who loves Jesus and they both are serving him in ministry. I saw another one of my men who is using his interests to make a positive impact on a culture that I would never be able to reach. I saw two of my men who are coming into their own – using their gifts of music and love for children – to lead worship and serve kids in Christ’s name. I thank God for the picture he showed me so many years ago.

The road isn’t always smooth and the picture may not come out exactly as we had planned, hoped or worked toward. But having a clear picture of your goal will help you walk toward the destination God desires.

Do you have a vision for you job? For your family? For your ministry impact in others lives? First look farther down the road and then decide how to live today! And remember, wherever you find yourself right now – God always has a hopeful future planned. Ask Him to help you see it. And begin the journey from here.