“Vision is a preservative. It will keep you young. The best way to stop sinning isn’t to stop sinning. That’ll work for a week or two. You need a vision that is bigger and better than the temptation you face! . . . [You] have to discover something more important than the problem.”- Mark Batterson
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”- Viktor Frankl (1905-1997), Austrian psychiatrist
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”- Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
In Chapter 13 (“The Attitude of Gratitude”) of Please Sorry Thanks, Mark Batterson notes that psychology measures mental health on a spectrum from depression to flourishing. Evidence of flourishing includes:
- optimism, empathy, and authenticity.
- inner joy.
- a strong sense of purpose.
However, depression is evidenced by hopelessness and helplessness. In addition, it’s feeling like the best is behind you. And between depression and flourishing lies the ‘neglected middle child of mental health,’ languishing. Languishing is:
- not mental illness, but it’s not mental wholeness either.
- apathy instead of empathy.
- no-man’s land, feeling blah.
- a lack of focus, motivation, and vision.
Hence, Pastor Batterson turns his focus on two causes of languishing: loneliness and purposelessness. Yet, technology allows us to connect more than ever. But we’ve never been more disconnected. Because digital simply fails to do it.
In conclusion, with the right people in our corner we can bear almost any burden. When the children of Israel found themselves fighting against the Amalekites, Moses interceded for them. But his arms got heavy. As a result, Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms. And as long as they did, Israel prevailed. Certainly, all of us need people like Aaron and Hur to lift us up when we’re feeling down.
Finally, as Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why can bear almost any how.”
Today’s question: Do you agree that vision is a preservative that keeps you young? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Intersection of two theologies”