I don’t spend as much time in my imagination as I used to. This was on my mind yesterday after one of our boys asked Missy if she knew where he likes to be best and he said, in his imagination. I wish I could say the same but the realities of life, the responsibilities of adulthood and a self-imposed busyness often keep me grounded in the more non-imaginative spaces of my mind.
I believe Jesus was an imaginative person. His teaching demonstrates this especially in his parables. Jesus’ parables were the powerpoint of his day, if that is even close to a fair comparison. Instead of images on a screen, Jesus painted vivid mental images that made his teaching easier to remember and pass along to others (which in my mind is the function of powerpoint – don’t use a slide unless it can do those two things).
Jesus also demonstrated this in his miracles. The main miracle that comes to mind is the double healing of the blind man and Jesus’ making a point to his disciples about whether or not they were seeing things clearly.
Jesus was highly imaginative. It seems to me this came naturally to him (he is the creator of the universe after all). It also seems to me that if Jesus was going to communicate imaginatively he had to spend time in his imagination when he wasn’t teaching…in his day to day life.
My sermon prep doesn’t really reflect that like it should. I pour over facts, details, and data all in an effort to engage a particular area of the brain that is essentially important but not all encompassing. What would happen if I took my class and sermon content and ran it through the imaginative process. We do this with children’s classes and education but less often in the “big room.” I do believe there isn’t a true dichotomy here – imaginative vs non-imaginative but I do believe I lean harder into one than the other and true balance will require me accessing areas of my mind that I normally leave untapped.
Over the next few weeks I intend to spend more time in my imagination, to engage a different aspect of creativity than I am used to and I encourage you to do the same. Maybe for you imagination comes more easily and there are more analytical areas you need to stretch and grow in. Spend a season there and see if it doesn’t enrich your thinking, your connection with the congregation and your relationship with God.