By Jim Sim
Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Matrix, Dr.Who; the list goes on of fascinating and absorbing stories. Depending on your taste you may not enjoy any of the above, or you may like them all. You may actually be thinking about other stories, tales, movies, or plays that are prompted by the titles I just listed.
You began to remember these and similar stories and dramas that evoke your imagination...
I watched The Lord of the Rings before I read it and it just enthralled me with the creativity and intelligence involved in writing something so detailed, thorough and inventive. In fact it was so thorough that I couldn't keep up when I tried to read it. I gave up after a few chapters.
What is interesting about such a story is the allegory connected to real-life invisible, yet very real spiritual truths. To convey something so deep, unseen but implicitly understood, took a great imagination and great gifting in communicating. They are not one and the same. The ability to communicate well is not only an inherent gift for some but a talent and skill that can be enhanced with training and learning. JRR Tolkien had a gift that most of us do not. And that is the ability to communicate in a specific way to convey a specific thing.
Not to worry though, because we do possess something that Tolkien had and that is a powerful imagination.
You may or may not be able to communicate what is in there, and you may not even need to. What is for certain is that the allegory, the pictures, the characters, the plot, and the drama that were all in the mind of Tolkien were a product of a vivid imagination: a brilliant gift. Not the story of The Lord of the Rings but the gift of imagining something connected to God, something unseen to any other eye but you and God. Putting it in a novel or screenplay is not the point for most of us.
To use your imagination to dream and envision God and His kingdom, are vital components of happy and hopeful living.
As the bible states, 'faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see'. Here is a paradox; we cannot see, but we can!
We can see with eyes that are within. We can imagine and we can envision something that has not been seen before.
Mary the mother of Jesus did it '...Let it be done unto me' she said. A miracle never seen before and she 'pondered it in her heart'. She imagined and she experienced.
The three Hebrew youths who were threatened with being burned alive by their king, Nebuchadnezzar, stood up to his threats stating, 'our God is able to deliver us'. They imagined something ahead for themselves that God could do to save their lives while in the middle of a furnace and God kept them from even being singed. Who had ever seen or heard of such a thing? They imagined and they experienced,
Peter's imagination was used by God when he was hungry and dreamed of eating. He dreamed of killing something that he had never eaten before and God used that dream to teach him something that would have huge impact upon the world community receiving the gospel and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
These examples show the powerful connection between our own imagination and the work and words of the Holy Spirit to us to build a vision of something better than where we are at the present.
We can envision with our own mind and with the help of God how to see eternal things, miraculous things, and previously unknown, untold, unheard of things.
Imagination is not confined to those who have communicated it well, like Tolkien, CS Lewis, and George Lucas. It is a gift that we all have and a gift that God wants us to use, in our communication with Him. To picture what He says to us and what that could look like. To picture what we long for and what that could look like, so we can present it to Him and learn if it is worth pursuing.
But best of all it is a gift that is our very own. Your imagination is yours alone, to be shared with God and to be a tool that God can use to speak to you, reveal Himself to you and teach you about Himself.
You can see him the way that best communicates to you. I can't imagine what you can.
How do you describe the color mauve?
You can picture it - right?!