Do you remember last year?
A bunch of folks realized that the year 2020 provided an excellent opportunity to strategize and, well, refocus. I saw everything from “Vision 2020” or “2020 Vision” or the longer-ranged “20/20 by 2020” for those who had the foresight (hah!) to see this coming down the road a few years ago.
Capital campaigns were planned and launched, “Think Tanks” were assembled and from our collective vantage point looking forward, the future was bright. This was to be the year of strategizing and developing bold new goals for the next few years.
And now? All of that seems like so much Babel.
Now we find our vision is far from clear. It’s hard to see straight amidst the chaos, and what we can see is often blurred with tears. It’s hard to see with all the dust that has been stirred up, and if anything the last three months has taught us is that so much is vanity. So much is dust.
Our vaulted 2020 Vision didn’t see the mote called SARS-CoV- 2 in any of our brilliant invulnerable Babel plans. And now, into this incredible expanding void as Babel topples (every day new numbers… new names… new lives added to those lost) I can’t help but think of the words of the prophet Joel who spoke of dreams and vision and prophesy even as the Spirit was poured out upon all flesh.
As the Wind picks up and the dust swirls around us, instead of bold new visions for the year 2020 and beyond we find ourselves humbled. We find ourselves very, very, human and very, very afraid.
And what is to be our response? We can go back to building Babel, grabbing bricks from one another to build a strategic vision that we can worship.
Alternatively, we could confess that our vision needs to be corrected, and lean into the new lens that Pentecost brings. “20/20 Vision With Correction!” might not have the same marketing flair – but if it allows us to focus on building the world anew in such a way that the least of these is cared for; a world where systemic racism is acknowledged and repented of and poverty is eradicated?
Wouldn’t that be a sight worth seeing?
Isn’t that the vision we’re supposed to be seeing?