What Does It Mean to Be
A People of Vision?

“What will mess you up most in life is the picture in your head of how it is supposed to be.”  — Author unknown

What?!  Isn’t that picture in our heads of “how it’s supposed to be” what vision means?  Yes, and at the same time, we have to understand the limits of the pictures in our heads.

Yes, we need to “stay true to our vision.”  Yes, “Without vison, the people perish.”  Yes, without a clear vision, we’re vulnerable to whatever winds blow.  A clear vision anchors us.  It gives us direction and hope.  It is, indeed, a precious thing to which we should hold fast.

But as the anonymous quote above tells us, all that holding fast is also dangerous.  In short, no vision is perfect. We all look through some lens–it may magnify, it may project.  These functions may be useful to help us see what we otherwise couldn’t.  But lenses bend the light that passes through them.  Just as lenses bend the light, so do our visions.  Every vision distorts even as it clarifies.

On top of that, life changes.  Some doors close, new ones open.  If you cling to a vision based in a reality that no longer exists, you’ll just end up spending your life banging your head against the wall.  And while having to let go of precious visions and dreams is painful, it’s also exhilarating to evolve and grow.

As Unitarian Universalists, we also know that one vision isn’t enough.  As clear as our perspectives may be, we all know by now that none is complete.  To see the entire view, we need everyone’s vantage point.  Besides beingn dangerous, holding tightly to one single vision is also just no fun!  We don’t just have to see things from others’ points of view; we get to see things from others’ points of view!  Learning about the visions of others isn’t just a way of making up for your flawed perspective.  It’s also an invitation to see the world anew!

So clearly being a people of vision is hard work.  Knowing when to stay true to your vision and when to let go is a very tricky task.  Figuring out when to keep your vision front and center and when to de-center it and make room for others intimidates the best of us.

A people of vision must see clearly, look ahead and acknowledge the limitations and distortions of their own sight.

At UUFM, we seek to create our vision–living out our roles as safe haven and beacon, incubators and builders.  Join us through the month of September to focus your lens.