By Jim Sim
"That guy has a vivid imagination", was what a friend told me after I had repeated a story about a mutual acquaintance who had a penchant for telling all sorts of weird and wonderful stories; lying basically. Telling tales of his own exploits and brilliance that were quite clearly unrealistic to the listener.
These were not the dreams of a young boy dreaming of what he would like to be one day, but the fantasies of a grown man. You have probably come across someone like that. Their stories do not make any sense, or are too fantastic to match their current position in life, or what you already know to be true about them.
To be an effective deceiver you need to have a fabulous memory or stay on the move. You will get caught out eventually, telling tales about yourself.
None of us want to be that guy, who for whatever reason needs to make himself sound more important or heroic than he really is. It actually creates the opposite of what he hopes for. Instead of being popular, respected and liked, he is laughed at, friendless and unknown. No-one cares.
So with that thought, I registered something in my mind about this guy, the one that I didn't want to be like, that he has a 'vivid imagination'. And to have one is a negative thing.
I had made the decision that to be a dreamer, or to be creative with the mind, or to make things up out of nothing, was a sign of stupidity, weakness, immaturity and quite pathetic.
How wrong could I have been and for how long?
It pains me to say how foolish I have been and while it may be obvious to you, but not to me, just like many other lies that I have believed in my life, not only are they false but you end up living them out any way. Even while you think you know how false something is, you are still doing it.
I mean is it possible to live life without imagining anything?
Without being creative with your mind?
Of course not. But I had decided that by limiting my imagination to only certain types of 'logical' dreams and well-constructed plans for the future of my life, then I could be considered a serious thinker and a grown up.
Before the planet earth and the animals, birds and humans, did God imagine them?
Did he dream about what was yet to come and what he was going to create 'out of nothing'?
Was His mind creative, is it still creative?
Does God have a 'vivid imagination'?
In fact it is so vivid that he tells us to expect more than we 'can ask or imagine'. He can imagine much more than we can. And did you catch that? We are told to imagine.
Perhaps we run from imagining for a lot of different reasons, some superficial and some more deep but for now it is safe to say that if you are like me I didn't want to imagine, and still struggle with it because I am aware of my own tendency to drift into fantasy. And that is unhealthy for sure.
Hence the point that the bible makes about having our mind renewed. This is not so much that we can know what we should and must think at all times in any given situation, but that our mind and our imagination can be transformed and healed from its own death and rebellion which lead to that fantasy about pointless and empty things will fill up my thoughts and desires. When Christ cleans and heals my mind, I am free to imagine and dream vividly as 'for the pure all things are pure'.
A vivid imagination is a wonderful thing when put to proper use.
It is what God used to dream up you.
He used it to dream your purpose.
He used it to dream your future.
He uses it to plan your eternity with Him and the treasures that await you.
He used His imagination to come up with a name written in heaven that is known only to Him and to you when He gives it to you in heaven.
God is a vivid dreamer of all things wonderful.
You are a part of that dream and you began in His imagination. He made you as a copy and image of himself with an imagination to use for living, loving, discovering, giving, sharing, growing, learning, and abounding way beyond where you are right now.
Picture with God what your life can be and what you long for it to be and ask Him to show you what He imagines with you.
He has more than you can imagine.