Saturday, September 13, 2014

Give Them A Vision

Then He brought [Abraham] outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” GENESIS 15:5

I worked for a company I loved. Part of the reason was that I had an amazing department leader, who was only matched by her supervisor. One of the things that he did which stayed with me was to send out a daily devotional - something just not Politically Correct in this day and age, but something that I greatly appreciated.

He used teachings from the Maxwell Study Bible. They were short, motivating, and very powerful. Many of them have stayed with me and impacted my life. Today, I am choosing to use parts of one of them; expounding by adding my own feelings.

"Most people who are dissatisfied and discouraged feel that way because they haven’t grasped a vision for themselves. As a leader you can help others discover their dreams and then get moving.

You may already recognize much of the potential of the people you’re leading, but you need to know more about them. To help them recognize the destination they will be striving for, you need to know what really matters to them. To do that, find out these things:"

What do they cry about? To know where people truly want to go, you’ve got to know what touches their hearts.

What do they sing about? In the long run, people need to focus a lot of energy on what gives them joy.

What do they dream about? If you can help people discover their dreams and truly believe in them, you can help them become who they were designed to be.

Whom can you help discover their dreams?

                                                                         by John Maxwell

When I read this my first thought was for my grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

You look at these young people with so much potential, with their future in front of them, and it's almost impossible not to begin praying joy and fulfillment into their lives. 

I looked at the oldest girl and saw a strong, opinionated young woman and could easily see her with life in leadership. 

I looked at her younger sister; so close to the Lord, so loving, and could picture a mighty woman of God.  

Their youngest sister was a picture of contrast. She was full of joy, and so gentle. When I remember her there are certain things that will always stand out to me. When she was just too happy to contain herself or to know what else to do, she would stand on her tip toes, arch her back, grin, raise her face and just squeal at the top of her lungs. I was always reminded of the Lost Boys of Peter Pan when they sang "I want to crow!" But then, she worried about the little animals that needed help when we watched "Wonder Pets". She worried that Tinkerbelle wouldn't get back to Fairyland. One day after the insanity happened, she saw me cry and came to me, her little face full of compassion, asking if I was alright. I lied and said I had a bad cold and she was even more worried. Emily is the child who might someday become a missionary and go help famine victims in impoverished countries - never caring for her own safety and with such a love and desire to help.

The youngest - my grandson Micah - was joy and family. When he was tiny, he went through months of inconsolable crying, but then one day he just stopped, and he laughed. He saw fun in everything and in everyone. We would play for hours,with him stirring an empty pot with a wooden spoon 'cooking' for me. When he would feed the imaginary food to me I'd pretend it was too hot, sending him into fits of laughter and he'd do it again. He greeted me with shouts of "Granny!" and tight little hugs, just as he greeted his parents when they could come to pick him up at my home. Everything that happened was about happiness and his family and the joy that they gave him. I don't know yet what lies ahead of him, but I know he will be a good man who brings happiness to everyone that he meets, and that his family will always be so important to him.

Mr. Maxwell's lesson says that you have to:

1- Know what makes a person cry - what moves them.

For my oldest step grand-daughter, I think it would have been frustration with a world that wouldn't just line up because she knew how much better off they would be do if they did what was right. For her younger sister, it was tears motivated by her deep love of Christ, and her desire to share that love with others. For Emily, it was compassion for others who needed help, and for Micah, it was sadness at being separated from those he loved.

2-What do they sing about - what gives them joy?

For the oldest, it was getting her world organized and moving forward in a way that she knew would benefit them in the long run. (As an example, although she was a child, she potty trained her younger siblings).

For her younger sister, it was her faith and the joy she got from sharing those feelings with others.

For Emily, it was knowing that she was loved, and wanting to give that happiness to those around her. One day I was at their home and she went to the kitchen for something. She turned, smiled and said, "Don't worry Granny - your angel will be right back!"

Micah found joy in all of life. Walking with his sister and I to the mailbox was cause for celebration. Seeing me at church was a Micah-party! Story book time was hugs and smiles. We couldn't start a Saturday morning without watching Curious George cartoons at least once, and he laughed the whole time!

3-What do they dream about?

Sadly, I didn't get time to find out. I know what I wish for them, but I don't know their dreams, and I would love knowing.

His final question was:

Whom can you help discover their dreams?

Although I don't see them, there are others - mostly other adults who have grandchildren of their own, who see them, and who can help them to discover their dreams. My fervent prayer is that instead of filling them with confusion, that they will be filled with hope, joy, and a desire to see lives of happiness and contentment ahead of them.  

Take them outside at night, and do as God did with Abraham when He said:

“Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” GENESIS 15:5 

Show them that their futures are limitless.