I wanted to be a hairstylist, missionary, or personal trainer. Before you get a vision of a purple-haired, boot camp instructor trying to get you in a headlock for Jesus, think again. Either one of these things would have been fine in my book, but not all at once.
Tension always exists between our reality and our dreams. There’s a daily tug-of-war between our realities and our dreams. Some dreams are practically hardwired from birth. Others emerge with the change of seasons.
I know this tension well. I also know the disappointment that accompanies a dream unfulfilled which is why I like to define a dream as a vision.
Vision is a powerful force that launches us in the middle of our own movie scene. Vision casts us as the main character. A vision magnifies our skills, passions, and courage. Vision engages our five senses. Vision is God-given and smothered with significance.
But here’s the tension…
Financial stress, our to-do lists, kids’ activities, and boss expectations all can hijack our vision and make us endlessly distracted.
The average human thinks about 60,000 thoughts a day, and studies have shown 98% of which are THE SAME THOUGHTS REPEATED OVER AND OVER.
Is your thought-life fueling your faith or rehashing disappointment?
In the fitness world, time-under-tension equals muscle gain. The same is true of the tensions that lay between current circumstance and vision.
Not enough time? Our muscle doesn’t have enough time to adapt and change. Not enough tension? We go through the motions and waste the time we did have.
What we need is preparation…
Tension IS preparation. Daily responsibility buys us time to become the person we need to be in order to carry the weight of the vision fulfilled. What seems to be a set-back and a distraction can be the strain we need in order to make us stronger.
So what would your life look like if you were free to live excellently in the ordinary? What if you embraced the time and tension on the road to your vision fulfilled?
For me, it’d look a lot like freedom – a lot more responding and a lot less reacting.
But we need to keep the vision alive, right?
I’ve never had pink hair, but I did become a hairstylist. I’ve never been a professional missionary but I did travel overseas to share the Gospel. I didn’t get a college degree but I do work as a fitness instructor.
When God sets a vision aflame in your heart, it becomes a forest fire. The only one who has the power to extinguish that flame is you. You have the power to keep it burning long after you’re gone; that’s because vision evolves into legacy.
So here are five things you can do today to fan the flame of vision:
1) Write down your vision.
- If you’re not sure what that is, write down what brings you JOY. What “lights you up”? Who’s by your side? Who do you want to positively impact? Write it all down, but take special note of what would impact others (discern between vision and dreams).
- A written vision makes decision easier. Will this opportunity bring me closer or farther away from my vision? Do I need to learn skills, build relationships, or gain experience to help me prepare for it?
- If you don’t have a dream, get around someone else who does and help them. If you do have a dream, then even still find someone else’s vision and “serve” with them first. God always puts emphasis on the “who” before the “what”. Train together.
- Write down lessons learned, miracles, divine appointments, answered prayer, discouragements, and fresh ideas. A written record is proof of progress and growth along the way. Someday you will encourage others with your story.
- If vision is from God, the promise WILL be fulfilled. Keep your eyes peeled for breakthroughs and answered prayers, and then throw a party and celebrate BIG when the vision comes to pass. (And don’t forget to stop and celebrate the little wins along the way too.
2) Make vision the plumbline.
3) Train together daily.
4) Take progress pictures.
5) Eat cake.
I’m astonished at all the answered prayer and visions fulfilled already in my life. Granted, I don’t live in the bush smuggling Bibles, but I know how to share His Word with my neighbors and change the atmosphere at the grocery store.
Hold onto your vision, fan it into flame. His Word will not return empty.
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
Brooke Peterson is a stay at home mom who’s not home very much. She’s a fitness instructor, author, and founder of Fit Mom’s Guide and traininyourlane.com. She has a husband and 2-year old daughter and lives in Minneapolis, MN. You can find her hanging out on Instagram or Facebook, most likely doing spontaneous push-ups with her daughter.