By Jim Sim
My brain has always seemed to be pretty active, but how can I really know? I can't read your mind so there is nothing to compare with.
We only think that others have active minds because they talk about it, write about it, sing about it or paint it. There are all sorts of mediums for people to express their imagination. And some apparently are better at it than others.
Art cannot surely be the only way to express imagination? .....
When I say art, I mean those crafts and skills that we typically think of like acting, painting, singing, poetry and the like. But how about architecture, engineering, medicine, accounting, and sport. Have you ever heard the phrase, 'it was a thing of beauty', connected to a goal scored in a sports game? Or, 'that was like a work of art', applied to a surgeon finishing a major procedure.
It strikes me that they use their imagination to picture themselves doing something that they have not done or seen before. To create something in their mind first and then execute it. And we get to observe it with wonder.
Maybe the ability to imagine is an underestimated talent within the church and too confined to the 'artsy' among us? But the history of Christians has been full of imaginative people, in the fields of art, science, literature, medicine. In fact in all walks of life. Check out this book 'What Has Christianity Ever Done For Us?' by Jonathan Hill. It lists all sorts of information that reveals the dreamers, innovators and imagineers that were inspired by God.
To imagine, dream, attempt, venture out, stretch, and dare, are all through The Bible.
Jonathan (Saul's son, the friend of King David) once said to his armor bearer 'perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf'. He didn't have an exact plan or a brilliant strategy heading into a fight with his enemies. He didn't have it all laid out but in the knowledge of his God he imagined a possibility of something outrageous happening in his favor. And that is exactly what he got.
Where we should draw the line at just being a bit over the top and being imaginative I am not too sure. But it should certainly begin with a life surrendered to God so that He can perform the work of renewing our minds from the selfishness and stupidity that so often besets us when we are merely fantasizing. When there is a process of surrender and willingness to be wrong, then God will help us when we stray.
In our imagination, it doesn't seem right to just dream up any old fantasy, but neither does it seem right to measure ourselves to be like Dr.Spock and be so full of logic that we exclude the mystique and vibrancy of the involvement of the Holy Spirit in our thoughts and in the outcomes of our exploits.
The apostle John on the island of Patmos had what is arguably the most profound vision ever recorded, in the book of Revelation. His imagination had to be at work as he was 'in the Spirit'.
God wants to reveal things of great significance to us for our own lives, that can be hugely transformative to you and me personally.
Can you imagine being out of debt?
Can you imagine being in love?
Can you imagine being a parent?
Can you imagine being healthy?
Can you imagine being free of depression and despair?
Can you imagine being prosperous enough to give generously?
Sure you can.
So why not share that imagination with God? Present it to Him and ask for Him to expand that vision, add to it, take away from it, or enhance it. But imagine Him fulfilling it and ask for it.
God is not afraid of your imagination. Quite the opposite. He is the one who gave it to you to use as He uses His. It is a part of us being brilliantly human, and distinct from every other living creature. Made in the image of God.