The Vision and the Desert

Vision: Word of the Year 2014.

Last week, I shared my 2014 Word of the Year. I was so excited when it came to me. It was the exact thing I had been attempting to put into a single word for weeks.

VISION.

I want to have a clear and distinct VISION for my family, life, work and more.

California is the place you outta be…

Last week, I was in California with Kia. We enjoyed each other and the sun. It was a great time. If you missed it, follow me on Instagram.

I always love to read when on vacation, but leaving for the trip, I didn’t give myself nearly enough time to pack. I was in a hurry, so I quickly grabbed a couple of books, threw them in my bag and headed out the door.

The next day, I had my Word of the Year revelation, and the day after that, Kia and I spent a generous amount of time at our hotel pool (where I met, oddly enough, KC Weather Guy – Gary Lezak).

Before walking to the pool, I looked into my bag and pulled out one of my books – Visioneering by Andy Stanley. Wow. It was further confirmation I had chosen the right word for 2014.

Visioneering

Visioneering

I’ve been going through the book slowly. Most of the time, I will devour a book like this and forget it. This has been different.

Each chapter ends with a series of 4-5 questions, which I’ve actually been answering. I’ve taken the time to keep notes on my phone or iPad for each chapter. I’ve over 1/2 done, and it’s been great!

I'm doing a great work shirt by Andy Bondurant

Visioneering approaches the concept of vision from the story of Nehemiah. That’s right, Nehemiah, who I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. He said…

I’m doing a GREAT work. I cannot come down.

While Stanley uses Nehemiah as a blueprint, he also draws from other characters from the Bible and present day life.

Walking Through the Desert

One of those people is Moses. In chapter one, Stanley talks about how Moses had a vision for his people (the Hebrews) to be free. However, he is banished to the desert for 40 years before he can do a (meaningful) thing about it.

Stanley then drops this bomb –

The length of time in the desert is comparable to the size and importance of your vision.

I need that line. I read the book for that line.

You need that line. You are reading this blog post for that line.

Even if you have a God-birthed vision, there are times of walking through dry, empty and lonely days. How long you walk determines how big the vision.

The question becomes, how do we get through the desert?

3 ways to get through the desert.

If you have a vision for your life, your family, your job, your business, but feel like you’re getting nowhere there is hope. There is an end – whether in sight or not.

Here are 3 ways to make sure you get to the other side.

1. Don’t Give Up.

In 2009, through various circumstances, I found myself and my family in a desperate situation. We had gotten our business into over $100,000 of debt in a matter of months. In addition, rather than getting better, the economy was getting much, much worse.

What were we going to do?

During that time, I found a t-shirt online that literally gave me hope every single time I wore it. It gave me hope every single time I saw it. The message was simple:

Don’t Give Up

No matter where you are in your walk, no matter how far away you seem or feel from the vision you have for your life, don’t give up.

You can make it. It may not look or feel how you thought it would, but you can make it.

Don’t give up.

2. Die tryin’

During our trip, Kia and I visited Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua Tree

The South Entrance to the park is nearest to Cottonwood Springs. When we stopped at the Welcome Center to pay our fee, I noticed a panel talking about the Springs.

That panel mentioned how settlers coming through the desert died trying to reach the Springs. They knew it was the best and last hope for water and survival.

If you’re in the desert, you need to be desperate for sustenance.

How desperate are you to get out of your desert? Are you willing to die trying to make it out?

3. Find a companion (or two)

Kia and I had the luxury of driving through the 70+ miles of high desert country of Joshua Tree in a car on paved roads. I can only imagine the difficulty of attempting it on horseback or wagon on a dirt road or worse.

Tough trips are always easier with a friend. It’s even easier with a few friends.

If you’re in the desert, you need to find a friend or two you can confide in. You need them to travel with you.

It will make that much sweeter when you make it out on the other side.

It’s just a blip.

In 2011, I began to come out of a 3-4 year desert experience in my life. Looking back, it was both horrible and invaluable. I never want to go back, but I wouldn’t trade it in for anything.

In addition to the 3 points above, let me encourage you with this. Whether you in the desert, just out of the desert or heading to the desert, it’s just a blip. It will pass.

The days may be long, but the years will be short.

Have you been through a desert? How did you make it through?

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