Habakkuk 2:2-3 states “And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
I know this is not the first time you’ve heard this verse in relation to the beginning of a new year. It is standard practice for almost everyone, no matter culture, religion, or creed to start their year off by writing down what they envision the new year to look like. We either focus on what we want to improve about ourselves (weight, appearance, talent, skills, etc) or our ideals (family, better home, etc). What does the bible have to say about this practice? I believe that vision is a biblical concept. However, we cannot just merely willy-nilly dream.
HOW TO BEGIN VISION PLANNING
- The first step in your process of writing the vision needs to be reflection. What happened in 2022? What worked? What didn’t? Why didn’t it work? What spheres of life declined and which prospered? Before you can start to plot and plan, you should prayerfully journal and reflect upon the previous year.
My biggest challenge of 2022 was moving. Living in a new place can disrupt everything you know about yourself, your faith, your family, etc. I was very much disrupted by the change in the workplace, routines, etc. My biggest challenge of 2022, however, also lead to my biggest triumph: I learned to drive. Like for real. Multiple hours of driving. Not a lot of young people who grow up in the 5 boroughs of NY can say that they’re good drivers and take road trips. Having to drive for work made me by force a better driver.
- The second step after reflection is really just to imagine. Having reflected and prayed, what would you and God (the dream team) like to happen in 2023? Do you want to grow in your profession? Do you want to make some money off a hobby? Do you want to be more connected to your family? Are there one or two particular spheres of life that call out to you more for the vision?
I know it’s lame and very encouraged in secular circles, but I think vision boards are cool. I think that they present a visual reminder as to the vision for the year. Vision boards are very debated in Christian circles. But let’s go back to Habakkuk. The above verse is talking about a time when the people Habakkuk was instructed to write the vision for were not following the will of God and Habakkuk was pretty frustrated. I’m not asking you to create a vision board to “Manifest” anything. I’m asking you to create a visual reminder of your covenant with God for the year 2023. In the same way we take communion often to remind us that Jesus died for us and that we bear the responsibility of the new covenant with him.
- WRITE THE VISION. You have to write it out in words. There are many many verses in the Bible that talk about the power of words. (James 3:2-12, Proverbs 11:9 to name a few). There are many people who perhaps cannot write out the words because of disability but if you are able to… put pen to paper. WRITE IT OUT.
The vision that Habakkuk was writing out was death to Babylonians who had captured his people. Maybe that’s not the theme you’re going for … contend with those who contend with me, Lord. Maybe you just need to learn Spanish for work. Lol. Write it down.
- KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. Not all of the vision needs to be shared with others. Some of it might need to be, like if you’re married and you vowed with God to do something that directly impacts your spouse. But some matters need to be held in a secret place for God to water it in secret.