And then God answered: “Write this.
Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way. It will come right on time.”
As you may know from posts of old, if there is one thing I am consistent about, it is establishing a vision for each year. I explain in detail why I do this in this post (Women@Work: Vision+Plan+Action = the Dream). In that post, among other things, I explained that “the idea of setting goals, making new year’s resolutions, vision boards, the secret…. etc. all come from the recognition of the vital role a clear vision for success has in achieving that success. The same truth can be found stated in the negative in the old English adage that if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every single time. There is also a Shona Proverb that says something to the effect of ‘a hunter who tries to hit multiple bucks with his arrow will miss them all.” The Japanese also have a proverb that says “vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” Even the Bible says it. Ask Habbakuk. ” God told him to write down the vision so clearly that it can be read on the run. The vision, God said, would bear witness of what is to come.
In addition to the vision, another thing I tend to do is to set a word for the year rather than multiple resolutions. I do poorly at chasing multiple goals so I tied all my goals to one theme so I could pursue that one theme more easily. One year, it was “consistency.” In another, it was “just do it.” This word becomes the theme that governs every action. So if I am working out, am I consistent. Am I consistent with my standard of work. Am I consistently a good listener. The minute the answer is no, I course-correct. The word informs the day to day actions I take in pursuit of the vision.
There have been different words for different years. Usually, by the time I get to mid-December I have a good sense of what my word for the upcoming year will be and I also have an easy sense of how I have done with that year’s word. This year was not like that. The word/phrase simply did not come. Blame it on the Covid chaos. As the year started, I started to get a sense of what it would be but it still wasn’t clear in the way “a person on the run” can get. I was flirting with consolidation and efficiency but they required lengthy explanation. On the other hand, “I want to rest, heal and improve on where and what I am before I do more” was too much of a mouthful…
Truth be told, my 2019 and 2020 vision boards were wild. I set goals that were so big that they terrified me. A small part of me even called them impossible. Especially the ones that related to personal relationships and career. Regardless, I set them. I prayed on them. I made plans on how I would pursue them and I acted. I tried, failed, cried, prayed, tried again, failed better, cried harder, gave up, saw the vision again, tried again… It blows my mind that despite a global pandemic, every single item on my 2020 vision board is largely fulfilled. I actually had not realised that until I took stock for the 2021 vision board. Some of them came about in ways I never even could have conceived of but they came. One or two small sub-items and one big one (traveling with the kids) have not come to pass but I wholeheartedly believe that the answer to those is “not now, not yet.” But they will come. For this, I am deeply grateful to God.
I am also mindful that I have been striving and labouring hard for the better part of 12 years. Working while I am on leave. My mind always on the go. Always creating. Always resolving. Always giving my all in pursuit of the vision. Always traveling to somewhere to resolve something. Always doing doing doing. Consequently, I find myself in places I am wildly grateful for. I also find myself spent to the last cent.
So my 2021 vision is not wild. It is exactly what I need and it has found its quiet words. When I heard the words said in passing in a podcast about something else, my eyes immediately watered and I knew this was it. Simple and complete:
A quick check on a different version of the Bible matched the wording in my head precisely:
In 2021, for the first time in my adult life, I will cease striving. This year, I will seek to rest, heal, be restored in mind, body and spirit. From a place of restoration and healing, I will consolidate what I have, improve efficiency and complete the little things that have been left hanging for years. 2021 is the year of stillness.