In the middle of it... I realized something that has greatly encouraged my spirit. I've been following the same vision for almost exactly 10 years now. How about that eh? That's a pretty cool anniversary!
There is a Nietzsche thought that has been adapted and written about by Eugene Peterson that says:
"The essential thing in heaven and earth is that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results in, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living."
I have spent my time doing different things during this past decade, but I can honestly say that the reasons behind EACH and EVERY significant action (and most insignificant ones too) I've made in the last 10 years has been because of ONE VISION and dream. It dominates my waking and sleeping thoughts... and it's size has done nothing but increase as the years go on.
I couldn't have predicted the struggles and I wouldn't have predicted what living my day to day life would practically look like a decade into of the intentional action of following a dream. I also couldn't have foreseen HOW many of the victories have come. But they HAVE come.
Vision is a funny thing. You often can't see the progress day to day when you're committed to the "long obedience in the same direction" program. But from the summer of 2000 that God breathed vision and passion into my spirit while living in Accra Ghana, to the summer of 2010, SO MUCH progress has been made. The theoretical, spiritual and conceptual... has taken on far more of a physical form than most gave a fighting chance to.
And it's funny... because the best bits of the establishment of this vision have been entirely God's doing. It just takes people willing to put their shovel in the ground to work in Jesus name... and then KEEP WORKING at that vision. And you continue to do it even when you don't see or entirely understand how what you're doing will ever work. That's the wonderful thing about vision... you just KNOW that it MUST happen.
I mean... you don't have to persist. Aside from the fact that it's Biblical. And the idea that the quote that talks about it resulting in "something which has made life worth living" being something I don't know if I could deal with not being said of me one day. Living a life that made God's name great. Really great.
Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts