Some of us have very vivid imaginations. We can effortlessly conjure up an endless litany of wildly creative concepts, mind-bending visions, and far-reaching theories that can eclipse the very imagination from which they were birthed. We can be ingenious beyond the limits of our own ingenuity. At times we find our own creations electrifying, but we can also find them a little baffling as we’re not certain how we came up with them or exactly what to do with them. Whatever the case, some of us can be wildly creative without a whole lot of substance to use in the creating.
There then are others of us whose ingenuity and imagination is a bit more concrete. There are those of us who are more firmly grounded in the more blatant realities that we see around us. Our musings are more dictated by taking handfuls, or possibly bucketful’s of the raw stuff of life that we journey through and molding that coarse material with a sprinkling of ingenuity, a dollop of creativity, and a dash of passion which results in something rather creative, but wholly practical. And those of us that fall here are just as imaginative, but in a different sort of way.
However we come about it, we all have a great imagination. We’re uniquely gifted with the ability to visualize something that doesn’t exist, and bring that hitherto non-existent thing right into existence. Imaginations grant us the ability to magically and rather decisively move beyond the confining parameters of our limited existence, and visualize things that lay far outside that existence. Imagination allows us to extend ourselves beyond ourselves.
God and Our Imagination
While God has granted us quite an expansive imagination, He has set up a created order whose expanse will always exceed the reach of our imagination. As a manifestation of His creative genius God granted us sprawling imaginations, He gave us enough room so that they’d never run out of running room, and then He fashioned a created order that infinitely eclipsed the furthest boundaries that our imaginations could ever take us.
Faith as the Place Beyond Our Imagination
That’s good in that we can utilize the fullest of our imaginations and never run out of room to imagine. Our imaginations can serve us for a lifetime and never come close to exhausting the expanse of our lifetime. Yet, quite often we see the limit of our imaginations as the limit of all that exists. If we can’t imagine it, we often assume that it’s not there to imagine. We end up playing by the rules of our own imaginations which do indeed have limitations, and significant ones at that. God freely functions both inside and outside of those limitations. When He functions within the parameters of our imaginations we appear to do quite well. But when God functions outside of them, we are forced to accept that which we cannot conceptualize. That is the function of faith.
Faith is needed at the point where our imaginations stop and God keeps right on going. Faith says that there’s more than we could ever imagine. It says that despite the vastness of our imaginations, there’s an infinity that lies beyond that vastness. The existence of faith itself speaks to our limitations. It says that there’s things that we simply won’t be able to grasp, or conceptualize, or rationalize, or quantify, or explain. Faith is what’s needed at the point that our imaginations reach that place. Faith says that the point that we are forced to stop because the limits of our resources are maximized, is the point that God is just barely beginning. If we can’t imagine that, then we’re not fully utilizing our imaginations. And if we can begin to imagine that, then maybe we’ve actually begun to utilize what our imaginations were intended for in the first place.