By REV. LUNA L. DINGAYAN
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” — Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
Our country is in deep crisis. Government officials say that our economy is growing, yet according to surveys millions go to bed hungry each day.
They say that the last local and national elections were generally peaceful, yet according to media reports hundreds were killed in election-related violence. We claim to be a free and democratic country, yet political killings, forced disappearances, abductions and torture continue to happen with impunity. We are proud to be considered the only Christian nation in Asia, yet we are perceived to be the most corrupt country in this part of the world.
Certainly, our nation’s crisis is not simply economic and political; it is also moral and spiritual. And we know for sure that if and when our sense of what is right and what is wrong becomes problematic, perhaps even the best economic and political system would not work; it can be corrupted.
It is in times of deep crisis like this that we do need a clear vision. Proverbs 28:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs is a book of wisdom. Biblically, wisdom is a lesson learned from life experiences that would help us live a good life, and not to do something evil or destructive. Old people or senior citizens are supposed to be wise men and women, because they are presumed to have accumulated valuable lessons derived from life experiences.
However, it is not always the case that old people are wise. One may have lots of life experiences, yet never learned from them. It is one thing to have experiences; it is another thing to learn our lessons from them. Wisdom lies in our ability to turn our experiences into valuable lessons in life.
Importance of vision
Now, a clear vision is very much needed in times of crisis for a number of reasons: Firstly, without vision, we might think that these things happening in our country today are all that is in life, that life in this land of our birth is nothing but killings and corruption.
Moreover, without vision life becomes meaningless and senseless. We would have no sense of direction. We would not struggle anymore against the evils of our day. We just accept them as they are.
And finally, without vision we become fatalistic. We would be resigned to our fate, thinking that political killings, corruption and poverty are but God’s will for us. And we cannot do anything about them anymore.
Indeed, it is our vision for a just, peaceful, and humane society – no less than the Reign of God – that keeps us going no matter how narrow, dangerous and difficult the path may be. #