I was recently reading Robert McKee’s book on the process of storytelling and came across a sentence that really challenged me. He was discussing the hard work of the creative endeavor and constructing fictional environments, and he said:
Worlds are not daydreams but sweatshops.
It got me thinking on a different but similar vein about how we often misunderstand the concept of having a vision from God. For our lives, our ministries, and really for everything in general.
I think when most people think or talk about getting a vision from God, it’s more along the lines of a daydream. We associate receiving a vision from God with being passive. We think that God speaks to you with candles lit and music playing.
He often does. But that’s not where the vision comes to life. It’s simply the moment of conception. The vision really comes to life when the candles go out and the music stops. It’s when you have to get down to the hard work of actually making it happen. Visions don’t come to life in daydreams but in sweatshops.
If you’re a church planter, it’s in the hours you spend setting up your portable location just to be able to preach for forty minutes.
If God has called you to be a doctor, it’s in the years of school and interning that you have to endure to get those two simple letters, M.D., attached to your name.
If you’re a writer or filmmaker, it’s in the days and months of brainstorming, executing, and editing that it takes to make your project a reality.
Being a visionary or receiving a vision isn’t defined simply by what you can think of. My five year old can think of a lot of things that have no chance of becoming real. Being a visionary has to do with what you can bring to life. God is the Creator not because He imagined or envisioned creation. But because He acted and brought it into existence.
Why should it be any different for the creation that was made in His image?