A Sanctified Imagination

12 Oct

Warning: After reading this post, you may come to the conclusion that I’m weird.

Ever since I was very young, I’ve had an extremely active imagination. My friend Michelle and I had our very own pet clothing company (tuxedos to be exact). All of my teddy bears had names, and I truly believed they also had their own unique personalities. I used to love writing creative stories…my favorite being a story called Celestial Seasonings (yes, named after the brand of tea). It was about a mother (the avid drinker of Celestial Seasonings) and her son.  She and her son were separated when he was only a little boy, but she never gave up hope that they would be reunited. At an old age she sought the help of a big shot lawyer (who happened to be her son!). When he offered her a drink and she requested Celestial Seasoning…that’s when he knew…and she knew…and they were together again. It was a real tear jerker.

Lately, my overactive imagination has definitely been my downfall.

I think I realized it sometime last week when Shady and I were driving home late at night. We were stopped at a railway track waiting for the train to pass…and somehow my mind started to be “creative”. I thought to myself “What would happen if our car was trapped on the railway tracks…and we saw the train coming…and we had to escape from the car with only moments to spare?” I looked over at Amanda and started thinking, what would be the best way to free her from the car? What if in the process of unbuckling her, the snap on her jacket caught onto the seat belt, and I couldn’t get her free? What would I do? So I decided that wouldn’t be the best plan, and that perhaps a better plan would involve unlatching the entire car seat and lifting it right out of the car…Amanda and all. But was that practical? Wouldn’t it be too heavy?

Finally, as we pulled into the driveway at home (the train we were waiting for was long gone by then) I finally blurted out my dilemma to Shady. I’m sure he was tempted to ask me how on earth my mind had gotten to this place. Not sure how it happened, but my imagination had created a scenario that I had become completely enslaved to.

That wasn’t the first time. Or the last.

Sometime around the railroad dilemma I was driving by myself on the highway.  From the corner of my eye I happened to notice that the car next to me was having some trouble. The side mirror had suddenly become loose, and the driver reached out, grabbed the mirror and tucked it into the car where it would be safe from flying off. Quite the set up for a wild run with my imagination. Rather than thank God that she was safe, and that the rest of us on the road were safe as well, my fear took over instead. What if she hadn’t caught the mirror in time, and instead it went flying into the air and landed right on my windshield? I played it all out in my mind. My car being hit, my automatic response involving swerving into the lane next to me. Somehow my mind created a whole situation where my car eventually ended up in the ditch…when in reality the lady and her rear view mirror were long gone, and I was actually driving safely towards my destination. How do I get myself into these situations?

Similar situations have played out in my mind in careful detail. Before I know it, I’m caught living out a full-fledged drama in my mind, only to realize that I’ve been captured once again by a story that’s not even happening. I think about things that could go wrong…play them out in my mind…and then walk away feeling sad, anxious, worried and stressed.

And so, today, I’m reminding myself of some really important Biblical truths. Perhaps these reminders are important for you as well. True, you may not have such a wild imagination … But my guess is I’m not completely alone and that perhaps you can relate more than you can laugh.

INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Our lives will either be used for harm, or be used for bringing God glory and pleasure. Our intelligence, our skills and talents, our sense of humours and interests….yes, even our imaginations…all can be instruments for harm, or for righteousness. I’m sure there are hundreds of ways that our imaginations can be used for good. Instead, the mind is constantly at risk for defaulting into futility and unrighteousness. Rather than than worrying, stress, and fetering on what could go wrong, the truth of God’s providence and sovereignty should free me instead to use my mind, and my whole life, for good.

God commands us to “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As believers, let us strive to honour God with our thoughts, to offer them as instruments of righteousness, accomplishing much for God’s Kingdom, rather than dwelling on futile thoughts.

DWELL ON WHAT IS GOOD

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

God cares very much about what we think upon. He cares what thoughts enter our minds, which ones we choose to entertain and how they will inevitably affect our behaviour and our understanding of Him. Guarding my thoughts is not just for my personal comfort and peace of mind, but it is primarily about obedience. God desires that our thoughts be fixed on what is true, pure, excellent and praiseworthy. If I truly obeyed this, how different my peace would be!

I believe this is my third post now that touches on the topic of our thoughts, and similarily, our reaction to fear, anxiety and stress. It’s an important topic to me, and one which I think affects so many believers.

But God is faithful and patient. His Spirit empowers. He will renew our minds with the truth of His word. We do not have to be enslaved to fear and worry…but can trust in His perfect and good promises, anchored in His perfect and Holy character.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or IMAGINE, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20

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3 Responses to “A Sanctified Imagination”

  1. Ee October 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM #

    I think Dina we all need to be reminded of this wonderful verse. Great way to deal with all our anxieties, and we all have them in a way or another. Thanks.

    Ee

  2. majay13 October 14, 2012 at 9:08 PM #

    Love this- I think that women especially struggle with their thoughts and allowing their minds to be captive to fear and anxiety surrounding things that aren’t even happening! I’ve often rehearsed scenarios where Serge has passed away and I’m left alone, sad and lonely, without a clue about how to pay the mortgage! LOL.. Not funny that he passes away but that I actually think seriously about things like that.. I think that that kind of thinking is antithetical to us being Christians as well. We’re supposed to have confidence in God’s providence and sovereignty, and I think maybe our thoughts are a way of us trying to control things in a sort of backwards way, where we want to know how WE would handle the outcome, and how WE need to have a plan in mind in order to sort out a crisis.. Thanks D- you’re right this is something lots of people struggle with!

    • digdeepwithdina October 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM #

      Thank you maja…I needed to hear that I’m not the only one who struggles with this! Not that I’m happy you go through this too…but it’s a reminder that we share common struggles and can learn from each other.

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