I have always had a fertile imagination! I would think that this is probably why I love to write. When we took our placement tests for Junior College, I was immediately placed in English 1A and did not have to take any prerequisites to the class that was required for graduation. And as you’d most likely guess, I enrolled in the one class that was mainly designed for people who loved to write… and write we did, all semester long! It was a great class!
After a six-year hiatus from college, I returned to school and attended what is considered to be a very liberal school at Sonoma State University (hey… it was close to home and we had a baby on the way!). Once enrolled I was able to hone and expand my literary skills by writing numerous research papers for my adolescent and family psychology classes that centered around my (not very popular… I might add) beliefs on the Christian family as an alternative lifestyle! After two years at that school with many written and oral discussions (some times a bit heated…) I graduated from college with a 4.0 and a firmer commitment to my faith than I had ever had up to that point in my life!
I think the greatest perk of being an Assistant to six different Pastors over the thirty plus years of ministry, is that I was able to employ my writing skills and allow my IMAGINATION to soar through the countless youth and children’s programs I wrote for weekly classes, retreats, special programs, puppet skits, all church events and outreaches in the city.
Piper and I always enjoyed going to youth and childrens leader’s conferences, curriculum fairs and special events where we would pick up reams of books, papers, tapes, CD’s and DVD’s of programs from which we could pull information and then customize it or re-create it to fit the specific and unique needs of the individuals and/or community to whom we ministered to.
But in order to make it work, I discovered early on that I had to develop and gain a good working knowledge, along with a personal understanding and the trust of the group that I was unleashing my IMAGINATION on! Without that personal understanding and knowledge of and trust from the group, my imaginative programs might have actually ended up doing more harm to the group than good.
Philippians 4:7 tells us of the results of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who refuse to give into the temptation of worry and wholly yield themselves to Papa God and the truth of His Word in the midst of all the various situations in their lives. Here Paul writes, “Then God's peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” (God’s Word ©)
Thayer’s Greek Definitions describes the word “imagine” or “understanding” as used in the King James Version, as “the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining.” Our IMAGINATIONS can be a very wonderful and enriching part of the experience of our lives… but it can also be a very destructive force as well!
Over the years, and especially the last ten or so, I’ve come to learn that the positive or negative influences of our IMAGINATIONS in and over our lives, all depends upon the source from which one allows their imagination to flow from.
For me it has become very simple. It is either one way or another… I really don’t think that there is any gray area in this decision. I can choose to hook up my imagination to falsity and fear or to the truth of God and His Word. Piper and I have personally experienced the results of fear-based accusations that arose from a trust in false information and it was like nothing that I’ve had to endure in the past. I now find myself having to make daily decisions that force me to differentiate between what I see before my eyes verses what I believe to be the contrary truth that I find in the Word of God.
Where do I hook up that fertile imagination of mine? Do I let it run wild with the fear of death that is facing me on an ever-increasing measure each day or allow it to flow unfettered as it explores the peaceful, expectant and joy-filled love of the promises of God that I don’t YET see before me?
Well, like Joshua in the Old Testament, I choose the truth of His life… for Piper and I made the decision a long time ago to serve the Lord and the ultimate truth in His Word. And on the other hand, not to trust the falsity of the world that does its best in attempting to feed our thoughts with worry, anxiety and any other lies that we’ll agree to! (See Joshua 24:14-16) The Voice translation of the Bible puts this thought into modern vernacular by simply encouraging us to “Entertain no worry…” (Philippians 4:6)
What do you think? To What or to Whom is your IMAGINATION hooked up to?
Have a great week! And as you do, keep asking yourself… What am I expecting to IMAGINE today??