Published July 29, 2011 @ 5:45 p.m.
If you are anything like me you have been inundated with news about the Debt Ceiling and the consequences if it is not raised. Lots of issues have been raised: the size of the national debt; tax loopholes; the unwillingness of House Republicans to compromise; the Democrats' definition of compromise to somehow always have to do things the way the Democrats were going to do them to start with, and on and on. But I wonder if the problem isn’t much deeper and more entrenched.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision the people are unrestrained but happy is the one who keeps the Law.” The description of the people as being “unrestrained” certainly seems to fit the United States today. It isn’t that we don’t have a vision it is that we have millions of visions, each person doing his own thing without regard to costs in the future. There is no unified goal or direction that everyone or even a majority of people are buying into. In fact, it doesn’t appear that anyone has very much of a vision for the future of the United States as a whole; just bits and pieces of it.
Of course, not all visions are created equal. In my own opinion much of the industrial growth that the United States experienced in the first half of the twentieth century can be credited to the vision of President Theodore Roosevelt. However, Hitler also had a vision and an entire nation followed his vision as well. It is my prayer that you do not share his vision of hatred and genocide.
The scriptures present a consistent and unified vision. In the beginning God created humans in His image. At the end we are once again learning that we are being created in the image of God through Jesus Christ. In between we see the struggles of human beings as God continually invites us into relationship and we continually seek to be our own gods. The great triumph comes with Jesus Christ who willingly lays down His life so that we can have, not just new life, but Jesus’ life within us. This promise is sealed to us in the coming of the Holy Spirit that bears us as a new creation. In the fullness of time there is a new heaven and a new earth and God dwells fully with His people. Everything else in scripture is an unfolding of this one vision that begins with God creating and ends with God creating all things new.
There are many competing visions in this world. God’s vision is not the only one. There are a plethora of visions out there each one having a different result. Whose vision are you going to follow?