I’ve gotten pretty good at stumbling through the darkness. In one of our machine sheds, there’s a door on both ends but a light switch on only one end. If I happen to come from the switchless end of the farm, I will always choose to blind squirrel my way through the tetris-like machinery rather than take the long way around to the light switch. Some days it works better than others. I remember a time, not too long ago, when I was using my Captain Jack Sparrow hands to navigate the dark shed and I forgot about the seeder that was quietly lying in wait, with a bar, right at the level of my shin. I thought I was walking pretty slowly, but the mark it left on my leg says otherwise.
Vision is such an essential part of my life but I so often take it for granted.
I was recently gifted a set of two of the nicest headlamps I’ve ever seen. They are so bright I forget that the room’s light is not on. My shins are very grateful! All that light has also been very helpful when ejecting skunks and possums from the little hidey-holes they find around the farm. When my wife heads out to feed the chickens, it’s time to start listening for a scream. There aren’t many things creepier than a hissing, teeth-bared, humpbacked possum lurking in the shadows. Vision doesn’t always have to do with light and darkness.
A couple of months ago, my wife and I started meeting with some friends and fellow business owners from church for business planning, learning, and accountability. Most recently, we’ve been going over our business vision statements. It has been so helpful to actually write down the things we want so that we can take action toward the goal. As I always say, the smallest action is greater than the greatest intention. If we know where we want to go, we can then take action and make a path to get there.
Our pastor has been going through a series on marriage and he was talking about how husbands are to love their wives like Jesus loves the church. So good! After learning about creating a vision statement for business and then learning about marriage from our pastor, I asked, “Why wouldn’t we create a vision for our marriage?”
Ever since then, my wife and I have been discussing what our marriage would look like if we designed it. Is our relationship where it is today because that’s what we want? Or are we where we are now because the days just happened to us and those days turned into months and years and now maybe we don’t even know where we are in this thing called marriage.
Sydney Harris said, “Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he automatically deserves great success in any field of activity; yet almost everyone believes that he automatically deserves success in marriage.”
When I asked my wife what a dream marriage would look like she said, “It would be a husband and wife who are friends who go out of their way to serve each other.” I’d suggest that, among other things, it would also include shared dreaming and goals, trust, romance and intimacy.
(Feel free to add some of your own dreams right here:____________________.)
Once you ask your spouse, write down some dreams together which will serve as the draft of your vision. Then it’s time to choose some action steps toward this future plan!
Don’t get caught up in the weeds. General George Patton said, “A good plan, violently executed today, is better than a perfect plan next week.” Remember, the smallest action is greater than the greatest intention.
Just because things have been this way, does not mean they need to stay this way. Stumbling around in the dark can be left to those who don’t have a headlamp and like the feeling of a bruised shin.
Ryan and Selena Frederick say that “couples begin growing apart the moment they stop growing together.”
“Most people spend more time planning a one-week vacation than they spend planning their life.” (Michael Hyatt)
So get together, make a vision, and take action!
Meet your farmer – Jonathan Gerdes. He and his wife run a farm-to-table raw milk dairy in Caledonia, Minn. If he isn’t in the barn, you can find him dating his wife, playing with his kids, leading youth group, or flying in the sky. Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com for more info.