Reflections on a Spiritual Vision

 In the last days,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams. [Joel 2:28]

I had a vision the other day!

I’ll spare you the details.  They are personal, and I’ve only shared them with one other person so far.  I shared my vision with someone I trust, a person who knows we well and could help me unpack it’s meaning.

But today, I want to talk about visions in general.  What are they, how can we seek to understand them and what to do when we receive one.

In a spiritual context visions are supernatural experiences that convey a message or carry some form of meaning.  Sometimes they come in the form of a visitor from another realm, such as an angel or a departed person from our past and sometimes they come as a picture or word about something we are thinking about.  I my case my vision was of a vivid scene from a TV show.

Because they tend to happen when we are awake visions are usually simple and easy to understand, they tend not to be wrapped up in a lot of symbolism and obscure details like dreams can be.  As a result, the interpretation of visions is usually straight forward.  If your grandmother appears to you in a vision and says, “take out the garbage” it’s a pretty safe bet that you should just do what she says.  If, however you are asleep when the same thing happens it could mean something completely different.  Every detail of a dream needs to be examined for additional sub-context.  Garbage might represent a habit you have or a relationship you need to jettison, indeed Grandma might not even be Grandma, she could be that part of your sub-conscious mind that represents family, or a connection to your past.

You get the picture.  Dreams and visions aren’t the same thing.

In the case of a vision that comes in the form of a picture, like mine, it can be a bit more complicated but usually the meaning is still simple enough that it’s easy to understand.

Understanding a vision is really about understanding ourselves.  Even with a picture or word vision, when you stop and think about it, you know what it means.  Sometimes you need someone close to you to help you accept the meaning and make a plan of attack but that’s not the same as understanding the meaning of your vision.  In my case all I needed was to tell someone about it, in the telling I was able to clarify what I had seen and solidify my own understanding.

So, regardless of whether you saw Grandma, a painting worthy of Rembrandt or heard an audible voice telling you to go to China, the symbolism of a vision is simple enough that you should be able to understand the meaning without a lot of trouble.  The question is, will you do it?

Oprah Winfrey once said (and I’m paraphrasing because I can’t exactly remember how she put it) that sometimes the “still small voice” of God needs to yell at you and sometimes it needs to start throwing bricks to get your attention.  But once you start to listen, it’s always been saying the same thing.  We just need to learn to listen better.

That’s what visions are;  the still small voice of God.   Have you had any visions lately?  Do you know what they mean?  What are you doing about it?

Lauren C Sheil is a Serial Entrepreneur and Financial Security Advisor.  He helps people live life to the fullest along the way teaching them to Eliminate Debt, Build Wealth and Leave a Legacy.  Write to 


Standing Under

About fifteen years ago my wife and I took a vacation to St. Louis, Missouri. We were living in London, Ontario at the time and I was working shift work in a call centre. When we transitioned off of the night shift we were usually given 3 days off to rest and reset before we were asked to come in on a day shift. But by some fluke of scheduling it so happened that I was given 5 days off.

We were newly married at the time and hadn’t yet taken a honeymoon so with this extra time we decided to pack up the car and see how far we could get and what we could see. Well my wife is big Little House on the Prairie fan and she had always wanted to see Laura Ingalls Wilder’s house in Mansfield Missouri. That’s only about a 10 hour drive from London so I being the good husband that I am, agreed. On our way down we stopped and stayed for a day in St. Louis and went to the Gateway Arch.


The Gateway Arch is a massive steel structure that serves as a monument to all the American pioneers who passed through St. Louis on their way to open up the west. St. Louis was the last chance to stock up on supplies before heading out in to the frontier. Once you crossed the Mississippi river at St. Louis, you were on your own.

As I stood under the Gateway Arch and looked up at this incredible mass of steel and glass rising into the sky I remember thinking to myself, “I sure hope the engineers knew what they were doing when they built this.” That is of course a ludicrous thought considering that the Gateway Arch has stood on that spot for over 50 years. I certainly didn’t need to understand the math or the physical construction work that went into the structure to confidently stand under it. All I really needed to do was submit to the idea that someone else did.

I was recently reminded of the fact that at least in part that is what the word “understand” means; to stand under and submit to knowledge that you may not fully grasp. Understanding therefore is an act of submission to truth, not dominance over it and you can understand something without knowing exactly how it works.

That’s how it is with God.

I understand God, in that I stand under Him. I submit to Him. I know that God is Love and that my life must reflect that love back on the world. I submit to that fact and that command, even when I don’t fully grasp it. I know it to be true even if I don’t know how it works.

That may sound nonsensical to you. But if you’re being honest I bet there are a number of “facts” that you stand under without understanding them in the traditional sense. Each and every one of us live every day in submission to something that we don’t fully grasp. We base our understanding on evidence and observation not on knowledge of how things work together to achieve the result.

What are some truths that you are submitted to? What do you stand under in your life?