The Body Builder Able or Babel?
By Captain Terry Camsey –
When I was a kid, I was fascinated by those picture books you could buy that were printed in green and red. They came with a pair of cardboard glasses with red and green cellophane for lenses. When you stared through them long enough at a picture, it would suddenly assume depth.
Years later, at Disneyland, I bought a special viewer that contained two sets of pictures for each image, one representing what the left eye saw, the other what the right eye saw. They were on a rotating disc. The pictures had been taken simultaneously with a special two-lensed camera to reproduce the way each eye contributed to the way we perceive depth. The scenes observed through the special viewer had an incredible 3-D effect…somewhat unreal, however, since many “froze” movement at a point in time.
Then, later, there were films where you wore the same cardboard glasses as for the earlier books. I seem to recall, too, that last time I visited Disneyland, there was a 3-D film of Michael Jackson and underwater scenes where the fish floated right past your eyes, seemingly within your grasp.
When you mention “vision,” all kinds of images spring to mind…Virgin Mary icons weeping or floating in cloud patterns…dreams so vivid that when, in them, you fall suddenly your whole body responds as if the experience were real…astrology, Tarot cards, etc., that attempt to foretell the future–to guess at it, as it were.
That is not the interpretation for “vision” in the context of developing strategy in an organization, movement, or individual corps, for that matter. Here we are talking about a God-inspired picture of what might be if we lived up to his expectations. It’s a destination towards which an organization moves, regardless of the route determined by local units in harmony with their resources. At times, different parts of the organization may seem to be moving in opposite directions…but, if they are all moving towards the same destination, we have nothing to fear.
Visions attract people…unite them (in that differences disappear when a common direction is pursued) and inspire them. Ignite passion and release creativity. But problems arise when the people will not accept the vision handed down by the “Moses” of the organization, because of resistance to an intermediary level of command, even when that vision is of God. The “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth Syndrome” which has plagued our movement for so many years.
Charles Handy (in his book, Waiting for the Mountain to Move) looks afresh at Genesis 11:5-7. Look it up. He points out that God says, “Look, they are one people and they’ve all got one language, and that (the building of the tower of Babel) is only the beginning of what they’ll do. Nothing now will be impossible. Come, let us go down there and confuse their language, so that they don’t understand each other’s speech.”
He goes on to say that the strongest societies, organizations or marriages are those which delight in their differences but understand each other and speak with one voice. “The danger, the tower of Babel danger,” he says, “is that differences can turn into separateness, if they can no longer talk together because they lack that common voice.” Then, here it comes…the pearl of wisdom…
“The story of the tower of Babel…starts with the truly exciting idea that if we could only sink our differences and speak with one voice, nothing would be impossible.”
One unanimous voice…fruit of a vision!