The 4th Principle Of A Man Is Doing What You Were Told NOT To Do In School…

“Bradford, pay attention and quit looking out the window.”

“What are you daydreaming about that could be more important than what we are doing right now in class?”

“Earth to Bradford…”

These were common quotes I would get from teachers throughout grade school and my guess is, you may have heard similar sayings as you were growing up. So, here we are in week 4 of 5 discussing the 5 principles of a man. In week 1 we learned that a man must, BE A TEAM PLAYER. Week 2 revealed that a man needs to be able to, TAKE A MINORITY POSITION. Last week we gained a better understanding of how a man can PROTECT OTHERS. Week 4 is going to reveal to us that a man…

HAS A VISION!

If you take a minute and reflect on any high ranking, influential man who is either in your life or just someone you’ve read about, you know they have vision. They are able to dream about a situation, scenario, or an event in the future that involves them doing something bigger and better. It’s what we call daydreaming often times. I find myself day dreaming multiple times throughout the day…every day. I know as a man, you probably do too.

I think there are multiple ways and explanations as to what a vision is and why we have visions.

So…where do we get Visions?

There is no doubt that as men of faith, we know God is far deeper and more powerful than anything our feeble human minds can relate to. We tend to limit God with our limited thinking. Having said that, vision comes from God. The visions he places in our minds and souls are one way He communicates with us. It’s how He reveals His plans for us. A vision gives us direction and guidance and let’s us know what to expect down the road.

Here is a practical little exercise you can use to see the roadmap that God may be paving in your life.

In a notebook or journal, reflect on the dreams and visions you have been having. Go back in your mind as far as you can remember. Write them down and order them in chronological order. Here is an example from my own visions…

Age 4 and up: Loved airplanes and going to the Dayton Airshow. I began dreaming and casting visions in my imagination about one day becoming a pilot.

Age 4 and up: Had visions of myself playing baseball, soccer and football some day. I began developing an interest and passion for sports. I would go outside and practice playing those sports and doing what I saw pro athletes doing in their sport.

Age 10 and up: Remember visions of myself sticking up for the weaker kids in school and being friends with all kids…regardless of their social status in school.

Age 10 and up: Visions of me being on teams that were winning and where I was celebrating a major victory with my team. My confidence was growing because of this moment in the vision. I had cheerleaders around me, guys high fiving me, parents clapping, etc.

High school and mainly college: I had visions of me doing well and getting a great job, having a wife, house, etc.

Post college 20’s and 30’s: I had visions of me making an impact in some way on other people and making a difference. I began developing a passion for leadership opportunities, growth opportunities, etc. I never felt comfortable with where I was. I never thought that where I was, was where I was going to stay.

Present: I have visions of owning a business, leading and motivating others to believe in their dreams and go after them, guiding men to a relationship with Jesus and making an impact in my community. I have visions of my kids thanking me when they get old enough for how they turned out in life.

Ok…so this is not the complete in-depth version, but you get the point, I hope. I can’t remember all of the visions I had as a child, through high school, college and earlier adulthood, but this is an idea of some of the most relevant ones.

So, how acurate have these visions been? Here’s a snapshot:

I did end up playing baseball, football and soccer growing up and was quite good. I was voted by my team each year in knothole baseball to represent them in the annual regional knothole all-star game. In high school football, we won our league every year and were the only team in our schools’ history to beat C.A.P.E high school before it was dissolved. The night we won, the fans rushed the field and I found myself surrounded by cheerleaders, students and parents all giving out praise and high fives, screams and hugs to the team. It was a level of love and adoration I have never felt outside of that moment. After college, I became a commercial pilot and lived the vision of flying planes. The experience I gained in leading and teaching others to fly, led me into a career as a teacher where I lead students on a path of accountability and help them find their passions and dreams. I am also leading men to a relationship with Jesus through my church and personal events at my farm property. I have a wonderful wife and two God loving children.

As I look back at the few visions I can recall in the previous part of this article, I can see that they have all come true. Every one of them. This leads me to believe the following without a doubt…

  1. God has a plan for our lives and it is good!

The visions that come into our hearts and minds are a snapshot or an introduction as to what is ahead in our lives.

2. We need to relax and trust God’s plan.

When we have a dream or vision that keeps coming back and we can’t get it out of our minds, it is important to write it down so that we can reflect later how God’s provision and grace enabled it to unfold for our good and His glory.

3. Without God…we are nothing. Everything that we are is because of Him and his love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and truth.

Look, there is something supernatural going on. God has a purpose for each of us and once you dial in to a relationship with Him and stop thinking and behaving the way the world does, you will be more likely to see His plan unfolding in front of you. He has gifted each of us with talents that He wants us to use for His purpose. It’s like an engineer who designs something. An engineer crafts and creates something to fulfill a specific purpose and fill a need, right?! Think of any machine or invention…it has a specific purpose. If the engineered product is used outside of it’s intended design, it’s not effective and practical, is it? Think of a car. A car was designed to take people places on a road. It wasn’t designed to be a boat or an airplane. You can’t make a car do either of those things without serious design modifications. Even then, the car doesn’t remain a car anymore…it’s something completely different than what the original design and purpose was. We are the same way. God created us to fulfill a purpose. If we change who we are to fill another purpose…we aren’t what we were created to be. The engineer who made us can no longer use us as He intended. Our purpose is to be in relationship with God and use the talents He gives us to bring others into relationship with Him for His glory. When we ALL do that, we experience heaven on earth.

So, long story short…a man has a vision! A vision given to you by God as a way to communicate with you what is coming ahead in your life. We complain all the time that we don’t hear from God, but I hope now you see that one way we do is through the dreams and visions He gives us. The next time you catch yourself or someone else day dreaming; relax and smile knowing that God is talking and telling you or them something. Slow down and let it in, running its full course in you. Then write down what you saw, felt and heard. Feel confident and worthy knowing that the God who created all things; the great engineer, has given you an insiders view on what He has planned for you!

Man Up!

Bradford

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