“We’re on a mission from Gahd,” is one of the key phrases from the classic SNL inspired movie The Blues Brothers. They had a clear vision: Save the orphanage they were raised in. They had a clear mission: Get the band back together to play gigs to save the orphanage. The had a clear purpose: Redemption for their past to help the future. Jake and Elwood Blues were singularly focused on this vision, mission and purpose. It led to some antics and not so God honoring things done in the name of a mission from God. But still, in the end, they had that clear vision and mission and purpose.
I wonder sometimes, how often do we truly have a clear vision and mission in our own lives. How often do we just go day to day lacking a mindfulness of why we’re doing what we’re doing.
Now, as a follower of Jesus, one could easily say that they are living to be just like Jesus. Great. Good. But what does that mean? What does that look like?
Recently, I adopted my personal vision/mission statement for my life. I’m trying to live into it and yet I know it’ll take time to get right.
I desire to do all I can to love the Lord with all of who I am and love my neighbor as myself in doing so help mentor and make disciples that transform lives and communities
Simple, right? Yet it took me a long time to boil it down to just that one sentence, and even then, that one sentence is still longer than I’d like it to be.
At the same time, it gives a guidance which is important to me. It gives me a direction that I know I want to live in to. It helps me make decisions on what I’m doing and why.
As I contemplate things, as I try to make decisions, both minor and huge, I have something to gauge it by. Am I truly loving the Lord with all of who I am in this action or decision? Am I truly loving my neighbor as myself in this action or situation? Am I loving myself in this action or situation? How does this help mentor and make disciples? How does this help transform lives and communities?
With a vision/mission statement, I have something clear, something helpful, something direct that helps me stay focused. And being ADHLAS (Attention Deficit…Hey, Look! A Squirrel) singular focus is very important.
When we are singularly focused, we can make better judgment calls on life situations. When we are singularly focused, we can aim at something in life and know how we can hit the target or even better evaluate why we didn’t hit the target. Regardless of the situation, there’s something bigger to fall back upon in life. There is no aimlessness. Instead, there is direction.
Writing a vision/mission statement is hard work. Just ask any church going through this process right now. Writing one for one’s self is even harder.
But it’s so important.
Back when I was in college, I took a playwriting class. My professor wanted us to create a credo, a “This is what I believe” statement. Her reasoning: When you know what you believe, you know what you will write. She encouraged us to start out big and then slowly boil it down to something memorable. In doing so, it guided my writing and thinking for the class.
The same is true in life. When we have written down a statement, a “This is what I believe” type of thing, it helps us know what we believe and it helps us know what we need to do.
So what is your vision/mission statement for your life? It’s hard to make one, but it’s worth it. Start big, slowly boil it down until it becomes something memorable, repeatable, and helps you in life situations in guiding you down life’s narrow path.