Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18, KJV)
When my oldest son was 4, we had a strange experience. Almost overnight one of his eyes began to drift in. Immediately we recognized it as a "lazy eye" and took him for an eye exam. The doctor confirmed what we already knew: Jacob didn't just need glasses, he really needed glasses. For five years he we faithfully took him to his annual check ups, even had him get vision therapy (think speech therapy for your eyes) to try to give him the ability to see properly. It was at this particular check up that the doctor surprised me.
The doctor commented that Jacob's prescription was stronger than last year's which concerned me. I had gotten the distinct impression the previous year that his eyes were getting better. When I asked the doctor he clarified, "No, we've just been working on getting his eyes to the same prescription - that is what we celebrated last year."
When I read the passage in Proverbs, I often think that lack of vision is not as serious of an issue as it really is. What I forget is that recovering from lacking vision can be a terribly long process. As in my son's case, it took four years for his eye to give up and it took that same amount of time to bring it back to the level it was supposed to be at.
In our spiritual lives this can be terribly frustrating. We get distracted from the vision God has given us, and then wonder why our life seems stagnate. We wonder why we've wandered away and not gained any ground. We think God has abandoned us or is making us suffer when really we are just living out the consequences of our own lack of vision.
God, give me eyes to see the vision you have for me.