I was 29-years-old when I signed up to be on the Young Adults leadership team at my church. I had spent the early years of my young adulthood feeling isolated and untethered until I found community at church that breathed purpose and belonging into my life.
When I heard the young adults ministry was headed in a new direction, I wanted to be a part of helping to create that atmosphere for others. I wanted others to be able to feel the sense of belonging that I had experienced.
I had learned that being a young adult doesn’t have to be a solo adventure, and I wanted to help others learn that faster than I did.
Within a few months, I discovered I was out of my depth. I didn’t have the Bible knowledge or experience working within the church that other people within our ministry had – and yet, I was a leader. It was in that space of feeling utterly unqualified to do God’s work that God did his best work within me.
He taught me that it wasn’t about being qualified – it was about being willing. God would take care of the rest.
I gave it a try for the next few months and started to realize how much I loved ministry and how the gifts God had given me seemed tailor made for it. I discovered the joy of serving and working together on a team to plan events, community groups and everything in between.
Our young adult ministry team loved it so much that we expanded the leadership team and created what we called a “2020 Vision” team. This 2020 team would be making an all-in commitment toward ministry for 10 weeks. We were asked to do ministry 5 days a week after work and on the weekends.
That meant that in addition to working 8-10 hours a day at work, I would leave and spend another 3-4 hours meeting with young adults for coffee chats, going to community groups we had planted and planning events.
At first, I said “heck, yes!” Why wouldn’t I want to do more of something that brought me joy and purpose?
It was a lot – and it soon began to take a toll. The depressed feelings I had before I had found community began to return. I started to realize that too much of a good thing was a reality and I was living it.
In the midst of hustling to create community for others, I somehow lost my community.
And, I felt alone again.
Five years later, and it’s now the year 2020. People are calling it the year of vision.
And, I can’t help but think about that time of my life when I committed to a vision that I loved so much that it took a physical and mental toll on my health and well-being.
I can’t help but feel like vision is overrated. We can get so distracted looking toward a future that doesn’t exist that we miss the present that is slipping through our fingers.
We make compromises in the present for a future that is not guaranteed.
I’ve started watching a lot of Dave Ramsey lately, mostly because James and I have been looking into buying a house. As Dave Ramsey puts it, you shouldn’t buy a house before you are ready. Instead of being a blessing, he says that the house can break you.
He lists out specific things you should make sure to have before you buy and how you should set up your mortgage to ensure success.
Dave says a lot of people jump the gun because they get house fever. They see something they are excited about and they want it now. They’re afraid that there won’t be another house that they love, so they act and buy before they are ready.
I think this happens in our lives in more than one way. We can get vision fever. We can get overly excited about the vision and go all in before the pieces are in place that will ensure success.
We think we can lasso the stars and move them to where we’d like them to be right now, but it doesn’t work that way.
I don’t think a vision is meant to be a destination as much as it is meant to be a guiding light, like the north star. It keeps us on track.
If we treat vision like a destination, it discounts the journey that gets us there – which I’m learning is the most important part.