series: Long-Term Vision #2
What is long-term vision? It is seeing beyond just now. It is looking back with appreciation for the creative inventiveness that brought all we have into being—from the utensils we eat with to the automobiles that transport us. And it is looking ahead to what can be—a world of peaceful unity where all people are respected. To that end, it is asking ourselves ‘what can I do today to make this day a gift of love?’ It is an attitude toward what life is about . . . being a part of the human race which is moving toward some unseen unknown destiny with hopeful anticipation . . . it is awareness of belonging to something beyond self.
We are part of God’s great experiment to bring forth a species with reflective awareness having the freedom to make of this world whatever we choose for it to be.
My book The Stations*is of the spiritual journey of an artist; on page 204 he says to the nun who is his spiritual director: “Regardless of whether on not there is ‘a God out there’, all that is good and desirable is contained in the idea of God. The world’s wisdom literature tells of how we can be . . . must be in order to survive. As intelligent beings we have reflective awareness and the freedom to choose to make life anything we collectively want it to be. We have made it a hell through selfishness—failing to see beyond our immediate wants.
“Peter once said ‘if God didn’t exist we’d have to invent him’. For the most part, we live life using only short-term vision geared to what we personally want at a given time. We can learn to develop long-term vision and see that everything in life is interconnected to everything else and there is no such thing as singular acts in isolation. What each does effects others and our accumulated acts of selfishness finally create a living hell. If we hold to the idea of God—the goodness and love and totality that a God represents—we can create a better world and save ourselves from our selfishness. Only the idea of a God is big enough to embrace it all. So even when I can’t affirm that a God exists out there somewhere, I keep knowing that only God—or the idea of a God—can transform this hell into a better world. Maybe acting as though we believe in God—even if we don’t accept an ‘out there’ reality—will call God into being.”
Just as we have advanced technologically, intellectually, scientifically and medically, when we look carefully we can see progress in our ability to advance toward rightness. To accomplish that requires long-term vision.
*The Stations by B. Sabonis-Chafee
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