|A cross of crosses kids made with found sticks.|
The same thing goes for my imagination. As Eli engages in the wonderful world of magic (Harry Potter), wonder (Santa, Tooth Fairy, etc.), and fear (dragons, ghosts, gremlins) I am along for the ride once again. My imagination, and my creativity have taken on a quality I haven't known for a while. I relish in a world of mystery, wonder, and a world where I don't need to understand things completely. It's a workout for my mind and spirit. It also helps expand my faith. William Blake wrote about the importance of a healthy Religious Imagination. It is healthy to exercise the imagination in a dynamic way, riffing off the stories we've been handed down, the way children riff off of cartoon and movie themes on the school playground. Revisit The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for an example of an author with a healthy Religious Imagination. C.S. Lewis wove a beautiful world together that incorporated themes of his church heritage. He taught it in a magical way that would engage the religious imaginations of generations of readers. He and J. R. R. Tolkien were said to have discussions about how strictly the stories should align with the religious tradition, and how they might be able to stray from, wander out, and re-order the themes. (I'm also a fan of The Lord of the Rings)
|A crucifix I made with found sticks.|
As we start off the school year, and settle into the swing of the day-to-day, you might also take an
assessment of how engaged your own imagination is. Just like getting into the routine of a new year, and learning to maintain a sense of balance in exciting situations, we need to exercise our ability to imagine. If you need help, ask a child. As Jesus pointed out, the kingdom of God already belongs to them...we just forget how to live in that reality when we get bogged down by all our adult responsibilities. Exercising the religious imagination puts us in closer relationship with God. Start with a Bible story, and see where the Spirit guides your imagination. Try having a conversation with a particularly wise looking pelican! Have some fun, and discover the mystery of God's Universe and the gift of your imagination that has been planted at the center of your being.