空前時刻,擁抱異象──VISIONS FOR THE FUTURE IN UNPRECEDENTED TIMES

MONDAY MANNA

全球首位汽車製造商亞歷山大.溫頓(Alexander Winton),多年前在備受好評與推崇的雜誌「星期六晚間郵報」裡,寫下了自己在1890年代被嘲笑的經歷。溫頓說他的銀行專員強烈批評他,希望他放棄談論自己的「瘋狂想法」:有一天汽車會超越馬匹,成為主要的交通工具。
  
但是幾年後,溫頓成功地製造並銷售了他的第一輛汽車。今天我們很難想像有人會懷疑汽車的價值和重要性,但確實有過這麼一段歷史。萬幸的是,溫頓和許多人沒有停止相信「無馬的車輛」是可能的。
  
我相信是上帝給溫頓以及無數發明家和創新者,對未來的清楚異象。若沒有李奧納多.達芬奇(文藝復興時期的博學者)、尼可拉斯.哥白尼(天文學家)、伽利略.伽利萊(數學家,天文學家)、艾薩克.牛頓(萬有引力發現者)、湯瑪斯.愛迪生(電燈發明人)、尼可拉.特斯拉(電力商業化推動者)或是喬治.華盛頓.卡佛(美國國父)、亞歷山大.格雷厄姆.貝爾(電話發明人)、約翰尼斯.古騰堡(歐洲印刷術發明人)、魯道夫.迪塞爾(柴油發動機的發明者)和邁克爾.法拉第(電磁學、電動機發明人)等人的遠見和願景,我們今天會如何呢?
 
對這些人來說,空前的時代促成了超越想像的發展,使後來數個世紀的人類受益。也許你在自己的行業裡,也能想到一些人和團體,他們的智慧與洞察力帶來了戲劇性的變化跟進步。
 
但是,這種異象並不局限於發明和創新。在聖經的舊約中,我們讀到先知但以理對未來有非常具體的異象。在但以理書中,上帝對他說:「現在我來,要使你明白本國之民日後必遭遇的事,因為這異象關乎後來許多的日子。」(但以理書10章14節)

但以理和其他先知,包括以賽亞、耶利米、以利亞、以利沙、彌迦、阿摩司、何西阿和瑪拉基,都擁有上帝所賜對未來的異象,這些異象都記錄在舊約中。幾個世紀以來,這些異象激發盼望,鼓勵上帝的信徒進行偉大的探索,並幫助人對宇宙的創造者有新的認識。
 
例如,先知以賽亞寫道:「當烏西雅王崩的那年,我見主坐在高高的寶座上。他的衣裳垂下,遮滿聖殿……那時我說:『禍哉!我滅亡了!因為我是嘴唇不潔的人,又住在嘴唇不潔的民中,又因我眼見大君王─萬軍之耶和華。』」(以賽亞書6章1-5節)他感到完全不配,但他意識到上帝在呼召他扮演特殊的角色。當上帝問:「我可以差遣誰呢?誰肯為我們去呢?」以賽亞回應:「我在這裏,請差遣我!」(以賽亞書6章8節)

以賽亞領受這個異象的時代非同尋常。現在我們也生活在一個前所未有的時代。因此,我們不應該太快摒棄那些得著上帝所賜異象的人。忽視新趨勢可能會危害你的事業。

在預言書的其他地方,上帝告訴以賽亞說:「耶和華如此說:你們不要記念從前的事,也不要思想古時的事。看哪,我要做一件新事;如今要發現,你們豈不知道嗎?我必在曠野開道路,在沙漠開江河。」(以賽亞書43:18-19)。你預備好要看到上帝在你工作或生活中做新事了嗎?祂會給你什麼異象,引至更明亮的未來?

© 2021版權所有非傳統商業網路(前身為純全資源中心)。節錄自和Rick Boxx的純全時刻,這本刊 物主要是從基督徒的角度來探討職場上正直這個主題。如果希望知道更多關於這個事工或是想訂閱每日純全時刻,請上這個網站: www.unconventionalbusiness.org. Rick Boxx最新出版的書「提供實用五個關鍵的神的方法來建立企業。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你如何定義「異象」?聽到「異象」兩字,你會立即想到哪些有異象的人?
  2. 你認為要如何才能得到對未來的獨特異象?這樣的異象最終來自上帝嗎?有遠見和有來自神的異象之間有甚麼區別嗎?請說明原因。
  3. 當你想到不確定的未來時,是充滿了希望和樂觀,還是充滿了焦慮甚至恐懼?請解釋你的答案。
  4. 我們大多數人在2020年都經歷了混亂迷茫。在思考職涯或事業時,哪種異象對我們最有幫助?你認為神能夠如何幫助你,去擁抱異象,勇往前行呢?

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想要閱讀更多和主題相關的內容,請參考:
箴言3章5-6節
3:5 你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明,
3:6 在你一切所行的事上都要認定他,他必指引你的路。
以賽亞書41章10、18-19節
41:10 你不要害怕,因為我與你同在;不要驚惶,因為我是你的 神。我必堅固你,我必幫助你;我必用我公義的右手扶持你。
41:18 我要在淨光的高處開江河,在谷中開泉源;我要使沙漠變為水池,使乾地變為湧泉。
41:19 我要在曠野種上香柏樹、皂莢樹、番石榴樹,和野橄欖樹。我在沙漠要把松樹、杉樹,並黃楊樹一同栽植;
以賽亞書42章9節
42:9 看哪,先前的事已經成就,現在我將新事說明,這事未發以先,我就說給你們聽。
以賽亞書48章21節
48:21 耶和華引導他們經過沙漠。他們並不乾渴;他為他們使水從磐石而流,分裂磐石,水就湧出。
以賽亞書49章10節
49:10 不飢不渴,炎熱和烈日必不傷害他們;因為憐恤他們的必引導他們,領他們到水泉旁邊。
耶利米書1章4-10節
1:4 耶利米說,耶和華的話臨到我說:
1:5 我未將你造在腹中,我已曉得你;你未出母胎,我已分別你為聖;我已派你作列國的先知。
1:6 我就說:主耶和華啊,我不知怎樣說,因為我是年幼的。
1:7 耶和華對我說:你不要說我是年幼的,因為我差遣你到誰那裏去,你都要去;我吩咐你說甚麼話,你都要說。
1:8 你不要懼怕他們,因為我與你同在,要拯救你。這是耶和華說的。
1:9 於是耶和華伸手按我的口,對我說:我已將當說的話傳給你。
1:10 看哪,我今日立你在列邦列國之上,為要施行拔出、拆毀、毀壞、傾覆,又要建立、栽植。
哥林多後書5章17節
5:17 若有人在基督裏,他就是新造的人,舊事已過,都變成新的了。


VISIONS FOR THE FUTURE IN UNPRECEDENTED TIMES

By Rick Boxx

In the esteemed magazine of years past, the Saturday Evening Post, Alexander Winton, who was the first automobile manufacturer, wrote about his experiences of being ridiculed in the 1890s. Winton claimed his banker soundly criticized him, urging him to give up talking about his “crazy ideas” of automobiles one day overtaking horses as a primary means for transportation. 

And yet, years later, Winton succeeded in building and selling his first automobile. It seems hardly imaginable today that anyone would have ever doubted the value and importance of automobiles, but there was that day. Thankfully, Winton and many others never ceased believing that a “horseless carriage” was feasible.

I believe that it is God who gives some people like Winton, and countless other inventors and innovators a clear vision for the future. Where would we be today without the foresight and vision of people like Leonardo da Vinci, Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla? Or George Washington Carver, Alexander Graham Bell, Johannes Gutenberg, Rudolf Diesel and Michael Faraday?

For many of these people, unprecedented times led to unimagined developments that have benefited humanity for centuries since. Perhaps in your own industry you can think of individuals and groups whose wisdom and perception led to dramatic changes and improvements.

But this vision is not limited to invention and innovation. In the Old Testament of the Bible we read about Daniel, the prophet who also received a very specific vision for the future. In the book named after him, we read God telling Daniel, “Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come” (Daniel 10:14).

Daniel and other prophets, including Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, Micah, Amos, Hosea and Malachi, shared visions for the future God had given to them. These are recorded in other Old Testament books. Over the centuries, these messages have inspired hope, motivated believers in God to undertake great exploits, and have helped in providing new understanding of the Creator of the universe.

The prophet Isaiah, for example, wrote that, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple…. ‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean clips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the king, the Lord almighty’” (Isaiah 6:1-5). He felt totally unworthy, yet he realized God was calling him to a special role. When God asked, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”, Isaiah responded, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).

Isaiah was living in very unusual times when he had this vision. We too are living in unprecedented times. Because of this, we should not be too quick to dismiss those God has given vision for the future. Ignoring new trends can be harmful to the future of your business.

Elsewhere in the prophetic book, God informs Isaiah, “Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to the things of old. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19).Are you prepared if you see God doing a new thing at work – or in your life? What vision might He be giving to you that could lead to a brighter future?

© 2021, Unconventional Business Network Adapted with permission from “Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx,” a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more, visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. His latest book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God’s Way.”

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How would you define “vision”? What are some examples of people with vision that come immediately to your mind?
  2. What do you think it takes for someone to gain a unique vision for the future? Do you think that such vision ultimately comes from God? Or is there a difference between being a visionary and a person with godly vision? Why or why not?
  3. When you think about the uncertain future, do you find yourself filled with hope and optimism, or does it fill you with anxiety, even fear? Explain your answer.
  4. As you consider your career, or your business, especially given the chaos and confusion most of us experienced in 2020, what kind of vision would be most helpful? What role, if any, do you think God must play for you to embrace the vision needed to move forward?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 41:10,18-19, 42:9, 48:21, 49:10; Jeremiah 1:4-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17


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