Myopia is the condition of being shortsighted… Hyperopia is the condition of being farsighted. Both conditions require corrective lenses or corrective surgery in order to enable a person to see clearly both near and far.
Full vision is neither myopic nore hyperopic. Full vision has to do with being able to see clearly those things that are far away and those things that are close.
Many of us engaged in ministry struggle to have full vision. We can tend to either be myopic in our approach, focused soley only what is right in front of us because we are overrun by the tyranny of the urgent or because we are too self-absorbed to see past our own circumstances. Alternatively, we can tend to be hyperopic, focused predominantly on what is a long ways down the road and failing to do the work required today to make a long-lasting impact. (I suppose that some of us who do the work of ministry can tend to be just plain blind… but that's another post…)
The Bible calls us, however, to a full vision.
We are to impress upon this generation, now, the pattern of the Lord. We are to proclaim and share the Good News of Jesus today to our children and to our neighbor. We are to equip right now the generation in our midst.
We are to engage in ministry now in such a way that, down the road, generations upon generations for the length of future history will follow the ways of the Lord. Our ministry now is purposed for the long-term future, far into the distance, beyond what is in front of us even now.
Psalm 78 is an example of that. Those engaged in ministry (which should be every follower of God) need to listen now… to grab onto what those in the past invisioned and passed down through the generations to us… to reveal these truths about God to our children now today… to embrace the command that God gave his followers to impress his story on the next generation… to raise them up in such a way that they would be able to do the same thing… that they would be able to share God's story with the generation following them… and so on… so that each generation would hear and embrace and be freed and enabled to pass on the hope and the pattern of the Lord to every successive generation…
… A vision that is active now with what is at hand… and invisions even the children not yet born.
Psalm 78 (NLT)
1 O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,
2 for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
3 stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.
4 We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
5 For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
6 so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.