Tag Archives: language

Who holds the vision?

“Where there is no vision, the people will perish.” – Proverb

“In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.'” – Prophet Joel

The question is an essential one and the importance of vision and it’s role in the community has been held in cultures since the beginning. These verses from the Judeo-Christian scriptures demonstrate the importance for me. Who does hold the vision when there are so many divergent ideas about who and what we should be as human beings?

I don’t believe that there will be a time when vision is more or less prevalent than right now. Mythically, there are no “last days”… or perhaps, we are always in the “last days.” I would say that all last days are first days and all endings are beginnings. So as things are coming to an end, new things are being created. If we are in the last days, then the truth of the passage applies.

For me, God is synonymous with Life… the Spirit of Life is poured out on ALL people. Not just the Christians, not just the Jews, not just the Yogis, not just anyone. All people. Humanity has been immersed in the Spirit of Life and those who have vision, prophecy, and dream their dreams will come from all corners of the earth.

I love the mystical reality of vision, prophesying, dreams. Prophecy (Greek in origin), divination (Latin in origin), and seer (English in origin) all mean the same thing. Each is, in it’s essence, about telling, not even necessarily about foretelling. As a teacher of mine says, when we focus on observing rather than techniques or “how-tos,” that is when we gain the keen insight to infer the likelihood of what is to come. So the more acute attention we can have for what IS, and is in the present, the better will we can anticipate and speak into the becoming and the evolving of what may come to pass.

THIS is why the all-inclusive access to the Spirit of Life, the nature of reality, the bigness of the smallness, the “divine light in you,” the sacredness of all things is so absolutely profound. This is why paying attention and the slowing down and the stripping away leads people of all ages to see, and to see clearly. THIS is the time. Now is when we must pay attention. And what is seen must be spoken, manifested even. “Manifest”  has as it root, mani-, which is hand… so essentially “made at hand.” Again, the time is now and we must make vision graspable and tangible (“that which may be touched”).

True Vision is for all people and brings all things together. It leads to tangible, manifested love. It holds ALL of Life, the beginnings and the endings, the living and the dying, the light and the darkness. Nothing is too great and nothing is too small. It is physical AND spiritual. There is no dualism only unity. Anything short of this is false vision, and we get this over and over and over again from those who grapple for the spotlight of power. True power does not have to be fought for. It is found in vision. It is this vision that keeps “the people” from “perishing.” It is drawn from the deep ocean of the present, from Life itself, and it makes that Life tangible for the people of all times.

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“Insider” language… or something else

I am learning the importance of being very conscious of the language I use these days. Growing up in the church and listening to Christians talk (myself included) I so often find us using words, phrases, and concepts that really only church people would understand. I was listening to some radio programming yesterday from some folks who would probably disagree with almost everything I am doing… simply because of what it is associated with. One of my favorite things they said was that the gospel is supposed to “offend” and the world is supposed to hate us.

I think of all this as “insider” talk. Reason being, who are we talking to? Who are we trying to influence and make a difference with? If we only seek to talk to other Christians, we can simply continue to use the same language without thinking about it… we can continue to teach the same things without thinking. It seems so often that the “gospel” that so many people talk about, and the “Word” that people “need to hear,” and the “good new” that is preached is only for those who already agree. Now, before I sound like I am pointing fingers, I must say that this is something that I stray into all too easily. My reason for the consideration of another way is because I am working on it myself.

For the first time in my life, I am actually spending time with people who are not blatant Christians. Is it fair for me to say that I love it? Is this okay… probably not for some. As these relationships develop I realize that this good news that I want to live out and embody is not necessarily for people who already have it and already agree with me. This drastically changes the way I talk and the things I say. “Insider” ways of speaking are absolutely useless. I need to think and ask what I mean by what I am saying… what other people mean by what they are saying. Perhaps there can be a greater accountability with the way we speak. I am finding much more intentionality in this area within the emerging church. Who ever said that we are ALL watering things down for people. Maybe we are doing just the opposite?

** It is interesting that the “insider” / “outsider” distinction really only happens on a negative level. I don’t know if there is an actual positive way of thinking about it. Subconsciously, we stray into thinking this way and it gives us reason to abuse the other. It really gets me when our theology specifically and unapologetically affirms this thinking. Those who would not consider themselves “insiders” see this all too easily and perhaps it is one of the biggest turnoffs to the church. our country, our cultural cliques, our media, our gender role distinctions, or our racial / national concepts of superiority.