Vision, as it turns out, is much more than we may have thought.
When I was a teenager, one of the past times my Dad loved and in which he involved us was Elk Hunting. I can’t kill the majestic creatures anymore, but I don’t fault or judge the harvest to those who waste not and have the need. We had a little camper trailer, and I remember the night before the big hunt, high in the Rocky Mountains in a place called Black Butte, Dad would conjecture about where the elk would be “waiting for us” the next morn. As a young boy, I marveled at his almost prophetic vision. It was like “be the elk”…so intense was his passion we all believed.
The next morning at about 4 am the mountain silence was startled out of a deep sleep. My Dad had turned on the “light plant” (generator for those who don’t get it), and then came the smell of bacon and toast… time to rise to the morning darkness. For all the plans and vision he had dreamed, one would think that finding an elk would be the most remote of possibilities. After a hearty breakfast we piled into the cab of the ford 4-wheel drive and drove in the moonlight- on roads almost impassable- to where the elk would be. Sitting in the darkness, we only whispered so as not to startle the awaiting harvest. Surely they were used to the lighthouse a couple of miles away and echoing down the canyon! Dad cracked the door open and I went with him, feeling our way through pines and sage brush to who knows where. Still pitch black, we huddled in the cold; sitting in silence for when the sun arose and we would find ourselves in the center of 200 elk. Then it happened, just as the sunrise kissed the first light across the pine tops, still very dark and in a light fog, the ground started to move. I thought it was an earthquake- the sound of cracking brush and heaving snorts, and large dark shadows with horns pounding almost over the top of us. Dad’s vision was absolutely right. The timing of the herd running over the top of us was not good as it was too dark to shoot, but nevertheless, his vision was right on.
I pondered that experience and it occurred to me that vision has some elements of required senses to realize the vision and make it reality. Vision is planned for. Vision is felt deep inside. The preparation of vision requires thinking beyond the moment, and seeing (in your mind) what is not only a dream, but a possibility. Doing is the most important part. Travel along the road, even if it seems like you are in total darkness, and then it happens. You see it emerging from the fog. You feel it deeply. Then you are in the midst of living what was once only a visionary quest.
It happened also to Florence Chadwick, who was the first female to swim the English Channel. She attempted to swim from the shores of California to Catalina, a 21 mile length. In 48 degree water, and in a thick fog, she could only see the hand of her father in a boat beckoning her on. Finally, when she was about to give up, her father pointed toward the west, and peeking beyond the fog was the shoreline. Raising her head with renewed determination she reached the shore, having realized a vision of success, through determined perseverance.
So it is with Vision. First it requires a dream… followed by a plan of action (putting yourself on the road to victory)… then determination… perhaps a little divine providence wouldn’t hurt… and finally on to victory. Vision to victory- that is our daily quest! I didn’t realize until recently that my Dad taught me that.