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People of vision

Jimmy Cochran Columnist

  Back in the spring of 1973, I was strolling along the sidewalks of Old Town, Augusta, Georgia while spending the weekend away from college with friends. Up ahead, we saw the neon flashing of “Ask Madame Lucia - She Knows Your Future.” What college kid can avoid such an enticing thing as having your fortune read by some (gifted) woman on a hot Saturday afternoon along the riverfront in an old eastern Georgia town? So, we went in, plunked down a few dollars before Madame Lucia (who looked old enough to be qualified as “Crone Lucia”), and she began the process of looking at our palms and into her somewhat smudged crystal ball to determine the futures of three rather clueless college boys. Needless to say, I never met and married a hot girl named “something starting with an S”, my bank account has never gotten into the six figures (even counting the decimal), and all my limbs are still attached. Did I think Madame Crone could really have a vision about me or my buddies? Nah, it was just something fun to do, but as we've kept in touch through the years, we always go back to the vision Lucia had for us and share a good laugh.

  Is it possible for people to have visions? Certainly, it is. I think of people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers of our country. Men like Lewis and Clark, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Gates and even Donald Trump. Women like Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucille Ball and Oprah. These people had visions for a better world and opportunities, then started the changes to allow the process to begin. They did not allow the naysayers to stop them and they ignored gender and racial lines in order to make a more better society for us all (yes, I know that more better isn't the most acceptable grammar, but it just seems to fit sometimes).

  In Proverbs 29:18 we are told, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” In his wisdom, the Teacher knew that people had to live and dream for a better tomorrow or else we would become stagnant and finally wither down to nothing and die. This is true of people, corporations and churches. We've all seen it happen and often try to place blame everywhere except for where and on whom it may be accurate.

  I have learned that a true visionary always anticipates the negative aspects, keeps his or her ear tuned to the people and is willing to discuss and listen to those with concerns. A person with vision is also unafraid of positive confrontation in order to smooth the path for all peoples. As one of my heroes, Mr. Spock, once said, “The needs of the many often outweigh the needs of the few.”

  I think that God has given us all a degree of vision. It may be for our family, our jobs, our hobbies and pastimes, our friendships or for our churches. If we are receptive to His vision for our lives, then we will have success. If we ignore or stifle the vision God has given us, then our spirit dies. I am the first to admit that I have not always been the most receptive to God's vision for my life and I've had to deal with the consequences.

  Whose vision should I follow - Madame Lucia or God? Not one thing that Madame Lucy told came true, plus she charged me $25. Everything God has told me has come true and His gift doesn't cost me a penny. He paid the price through His Son, Jesus.  So, again...Lucia or God. It's up to you.

  And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


  Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, author, musician and Minister.



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