“Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” – Prov 29:18 (NRSV)
“Without vision a people turns wild;
but happy is he who follows the teaching.” – Prov 29:18 (NRSV)
I constantly hear about vision casting. Where are we going? What are we going to do? How are we going to get there? What’s next? This proverb reminds us that our vision is not true vision. True vision is catching a glimpse of God’s vision and wisdom and following that where it leads. Where is it found? The last word of the proverb tells us directly. In English we have instruction or teaching. In Hebrew it is the word Torah. We find God’s vision in what God has revealed to us in scripture. It is a serious misstep to plan the next steps for congregational ministry or the next program without first consulting God to let his vision be adopted as our vision so we can see things as they truly are. God’s torah, instruction, grants us that ability. It may not give us specific next steps in every decision but the principles we find in scripture should be sought out and applied to our particular circumstances.
This takes prayer, humility and an openness to accept that the way I most naturally see things and plan next steps is not automatically what God wills just because I came up with it.