The world of the imagination is a black canvas for prayer to paint upon.

Today I want to share with you my vision. Often I blog about life lessons and realizations that fascinate me. Earlier today, however, I was listening to a sermon by Kris Valloton on dreaming. It hit me so deeply. So many of my worries in life have been related to my future, and so many times I have side-stepped the real issue by telling myself that I needed to stop worrying and start trusting God. This is true, to an extent. For me, the issue ran deeper. My concern for the future was not a command to stop worrying, but an invitation to start dreaming.

So many of the accomplishments and so much of the work I’ve taken on has been in pursuit of the mysterious “will of God” and entailed me listening to His voice to hear how He would direct me next. Because He is faithful, He has done just that. The sad part is that He’s been waiting for me to do so much more than just listen. He’s been waiting for me to dream and dialogue with Him about who I am and what I’d like to see happen in the world. I’ve given Him the blank canvas of my imagination and told Him, “Make something!” but that’s not His role. He’s already made me perfect in Christ, now He wants me to go manifest that perfection in my own unique way. His work is done—now it’s my turn.

With all that said, I present my vision based on the criteria that Kris suggested in his sermon.

Who: I am a man of prayer, a seeker of righteousness, and a musician.

Why: I aim to show the world that the prayer of a righteous man is effective and able to connect to the heart of mankind.

What: I desire to write prayers in song, teaching people how to pray effectively and genuinely.

How: In the short term, by finishing the songs for my first EP and releasing them on iTunes. In the long term, by becoming a dedicated song-writer and prayer warrior.

When: I want to get the EP released by the end of summer!

I have needed a vision for a long time, I have wandered aimlessly through a metaphorical desert since I was a child, and only now am I waking up to realize that what I do can and does hold power because I have Christ living in me. I have tried to craft vision statements many times before and they’ve all been left incomplete and unclear. For some reason, talking it through with God this time, I have come up with SOMETHING! I wasn’t disconnected from God in my previous attempts, which leads me to believe that there may yet have been a Divine purpose in my wandering (I’m still reflecting on that), but for now I know this: God is the potter, but in order to shape us, He needs something to work with. Vision is the emulsifier of identity—it makes who we are stick together in a unified manner and keeps us on a course. I have now found a small piece of that, and I’m going to run with it for now and keep asking for more.

Closeness with God can be a difficult, ever changing thing. It’s never because He changes, but always because we change. Change. I hate it and love it at the same time. It’s what happens as we renew our minds and bring our lives into alignment with the reality of our new natures in Christ. We are already seated in heavenly places with Christ, but we have to learn how that looks as we live on earth and it can be a difficult, painful process. Sometimes there is great joy in the process too. Sometimes we celebrate the process with other people. Sometimes we journey alone for a time, a phenomenon I know as the desert.

I think that we go through many deserts in life—times when the landscape (circumstances, relationships, etc) are barren and ever-shifting. No matter how well you prepare for it, you will eventually run out of supplies, and you must rely on God to provide manna in the morning and quail in the evening. You must rely on God to provide water from rocks and make the bitter waters sweet. It is often a time of loneliness.

With each desert that we go through, the only thing we can do to experience it differently is to change our perspective of it. This time through, I’m realizing how much joy there is in letting go of everything. I’m releasing friendships, grades, dreams, and plans, and finding that in my human loneliness I find spiritual closeness to my God—One who is not present physically, yet Who is more real to me than any other person I’ve ever met. I find myself hungry for the manna of His presence which, oddly enough, I cannot find in the company of others. I need the desert in order to draw close to Jesus. The desert has become for me no longer something I dread. I love the wide open spaces. I love the utter dependence. I love the closeness. I know that when I have reached the end of my desert season I will be ready for whatever comes; but for now, I am resting. Jesus, I am resting. Thank You.

I'll have nothing except for Him