Tue | Oct 22, 2019

Steve Lyston | We are not poor, we lack vision

Published:Monday | September 16, 2019 | 12:06 AM
Wensett Brown, otherwise called ‘King’, a 50-year-old farmer from Comfort Hall, located in the Cockpit Country, Trelawny, points to his yam field on a hillside in the forested hinterlands. The Cockpit Country is island’s most biodiverse region.
Nicole Maddix, a former member of the Cockpit Country Warriors, holds a placard as she demonstrates near Gordon House in Kingston against mining and other threats to the Cockpit Country.
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Many countries today are adjusting definitions for their purpose, ­particularly ­definitions for the words ‘poverty’ and ‘poor’, in order to determine what level of financial assistance or aid to extend to other nations, if any help at all. They ­categorise some nations as middle-income ­ countries, least developed countries, small island developing states, and so on. However, we, as a nation, do not have to assign any of these labels to our country and confine ourselves to the stigma that comes with those categories. But it is vision that will cause us, as a people and nation, to rise above being categorised and allow us to become greater than those country’s called developed nations and become, what I call,’vision-led nations’.

Proverbs 29: 18 says, “Where there is no revelation, the ­people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.” A lack of vision hinders revelation. Revelation deals with the realisation of ­possibilities and positive outcomes that will be beneficial to a person, a community and, ultimately, a nation. Without ­revelation, a nation is left to its own devices – hence high levels of crime, violence, corruption – and become susceptible to economic collapse.

A lack of vision restricts ­movement, growth, access and opportunity. A lack of vision causes you to depend on ­others – other nations in order to survive. As a result, you can’t make your own ­decisions and, ultimately, all you become is a copycat.

When a person prays, God gives him or her a vision and a revelation to create a plan; and the plan is greater than the vision statement. He begins to show you the resources available to you and how to use them.

The people of what we call First-World countries are not brighter than we are, they are wiser. They already think that as a small nation, we are lazy and shortsighted. They think the same of CARICOM, Latin American nations and Africa. So, they often come and see the value that we have in our country, and they would find ways of pulling it all from us and replacing it with cash. Sadly, many of our people fall into the trap. Just take a look at how they have dealt with the Amazon rainforest and the Cockpit Country, which has the highest diversity of plants and animals anywhere on the island. It also has ­rivers with some of the best waters worldwide. Furthermore, it is Jamaica’s largest ­remaining natural forest and a refuge for rare native species; and it has large quantities of limestone.

Lack of vision leads to anarchy

As we seek, God will grant us great ­revelation regarding all the resources that He has given to us. Revelation from God comes through prophetic vision, a word of wisdom, prophecies, word of knowledge and a revelation of God’s word. So, when a society lacks divine insight, such a society is heading in the direction of anarchy. We cannot lead or build on intellect or logic without God’s divine revelation.

With bauxite being common in other countries, what is its value in ­comparison to governments building resorts, ­miniature games, netball and basketball courts, swimming pools, table and lawn tennis courts, a music school for all ages, universities, colleges, various job banks, more wells and reservoirs in the area? That could be marketed and become a lifeline for the nation. Instead of sucking out the resources and destroying it, we could preserve our environment, and be good stewards of the gifts God has given to our nation. Where is the vision? Are we not seeing the vision?

These lands of the Cockpit Country are just as important to Jamaica as the Appalachian Mountains are to the United States. I am sure they would not destroy them. There comes a time when people will have to run to such places for refuge.

If others can see the value in our nation and we can’t, where is our vision? Vision empowers people and pushes them into action. Many people are unemployed because they lack vision. Once there is a vision, there will always be provision. Vision is a product of purpose and each person has a purpose.

Remember the words of our anthem – “Give us vision lest we perish.”

Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including ‘End Time Finance’ and ‘The New Millionaire’.