We’ve been trying to fight the battle of being occupied vs. occupying yourself here in this house lately. I’m trying to get the kids to the point where they can play better independently and it’s been a struggle since every time I leave them on their own for 5 seconds, there is fighting. I’ve been using the word “imagination” a lot lately and trying to teach them how to be creative and make up things — but you know what? I need imagination!! I’m sitting there with the blocks right along with them going “…uhhh…..build what?…” and sitting by the kitchen set going “ummm….its an apple. What else can it be besides an apple? Think, Mommy, think!!” My imagination is so rusty! I remember how my siblings and I used to stay out all day playing in the backyard, making up different scenarios, usually involving living on the prairie, Laura-Ingalls style. We spent hours and hours playing with nothing and making it everything in our minds, but now I’m so bogged down and “adult-ed” that my imagination corner is closed off and I can only see what is there, not what could be.
I saw a commercial lately that hit me –maybe you saw it too. In the commercial, the mom is building robots from cardboard boxes and playing pirates with her daughter and it’s silly to say, but I was so convicted by it! I was sitting there thinking that I would never have thought to make a robot out of the box, or spend the day “flying” my daughter around in a wheelbarrow airplane. I feel like I have no ability right now to make believe, and its probably because I am out of practice.
As always, I got to thinking how this affects my faith walk too – we get so beaten down by reality and what “usually” happens, or what the situation looks like, or what the “obvious” end result is that we fail to imagine what God COULD do if we ask Him! We get bogged down in the “it’s this way, how else can it be?” or the “but it always happens that way!” and the “I don’t see how else it can go!” and we forget to open our minds to the possibilities of an endlessly creative God.
Ephesians 3:20 says “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” and I LOVE that verse — anything we can think, God can do bigger. Anything we can dream up, He’s got something better.
But what if we don’t see the power of God because we don’t let ourselves imagine what He can do beyond what is our known? What if we start make believing that God CAN and WILL do great and wonderful things and ask Him for those things? He can change circumstances, change hearts, change relationships, change our country, heal, provide, and nurture. God is that mom in the commercial, taking a plain old cardboard box and making something magical out of it. We just have to make believe.
C.S. Lewis said it well with one of my favorite quotes, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
If we fully understood the limitless wonder of our creator, we wouldn’t be thinking so small, and wouldn’t be shutting God into such a small box of what we think He can do. And it struck me as a wonderful way to go into this weekend, Easter Weekend, imagining all the ways that the impossible is made possible — like our God raising Jesus from the dead! “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). We just have to have faith that that same God is capable, and willing, to do big things in our lives too! Make believe that He can, and ask Him to meet you in your imagination!