It was just another day in the house on the table. Quite a move was made that morning, as the entire home was picked up in a giant tornado, and placed gently on the smooth wooden surface. Abu, in true form, spent his time calming down Barbie, who was still quite a bit shaken up. In fact, Gretel was so upset, she needed to be held a few minutes by Sophie before she could be placed back in her room.
I remember when I was in elementary school, playing Ninja Turtles all over the playground. There was a giant tree with roots sticking out of the ground, and that became their “lair”, where all the best plans would be put together. Then the show would start, and the team of four would kick crime’s butt until the bell rang. It. Was. Awesome. When I was young, imagination came not only naturally; it came as a necessity. But as I grew, as a hundred popular movies will illustrate, my ability to imagine became more and more dim. Reality ruled.
It would be really easy at this point to go down the familiar road of how sad that is. How even grown men need to have the imagination of the boys they once were. How it’s a magical force, and it would include some either dreamy-tripped out experience, or actual blast from the past to reinforce the lesson.
But what if we need our imaginations to be active and strong for larger purposes?
Not that God is going to give us a cosmic set of action figures, and expect us to “play nice”. But it seems the characteristics of God lead us to a place where our imaginations could be vital to experiencing Him.
The word “imagine” comes from the Latin word “imaginari” meaning “to form a mental picture of something”. Another definition is “to see or hear something that does not exist” (I would add the word “yet” here also.) Long ago, God made a covenant with Abraham that has been/is still being fulfilled. God made a new covenant with all of creation through Jesus Christ, that is continuing until completion. We cannot see God’s hand physically moving in our world. We cannot see pictures of “New Creation” the way God will bring to reality. We are surrounded by a humanity that is broken, and a world that is crumbling without the image of God being carried throughout as it was designed.
In the midst of all of this, we need a bit of “Holy Imagining”. People who will think, love, act, and speak prophetically as citizens of the Kingdom that is, and is to come. Transformed hearts and minds that are brought to life by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the firstborn of a new way of life that is coming. We need people who will relate to others, and respond within life not according to how things were, how they are, or even an “optimistic view” of what could be. But rather, who will respond to life according to how God is transforming all things, and will indeed “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5)
So when our kids tug on our shirts, begging us to play with them, let’s jump in with vigor. As our imaginations shake off their dust, stretch out a bit, and become stronger – perhaps God will continue to give us a vision and a Life sourced not in what is – but what will be…(cue sappy Disney music)