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The Christian Palette, Issue #11 -- God Approved Imagination
September 12, 2015
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God Approved Imagination
One of the words used in the Bible for “mind” is the Hebrew word “yetser”, which also means good or evil “imagination”. It is a creative word - a word that implies framing the essence of a thing, sort of like the role of an armature for a sculpture.
Imagination stayed on God is dynamic with power for creative good.
The Heavy Cost of Distraction
Every day brain games from Lumosity are delivered to my inbox, exercises that I can complete in about 15 minutes. They revealed something surprising about my thought process that is probably universal.
Focus is the key to a good score and distractions its bane.
If the phone rang, my mind immediately switched off the exercise, even if I did not answer it! A voice in the background was enough of a distraction to ruin my scores for that day, even if it was not addressed to me!
I’ve always understood that distractions, by their very nature, are time and productivity thieves. I was stunned at how intensely vulnerable my mind was to the least of these distractions.
My scores did not just drop a little when my train of thought was interrupted for a split second, they plunged miserably! Refocussing was quite an effort.
The time lost was precious, irrevocable and seemed unfairly disproportionate to the distraction!
So many technology interruptions plague us today, that our minds flit constantly from thought to unrelated thought, rarely pausing long enough to absorb anything effectively.
The staying power of our mind on a thought is key to creative productivity.
The Power of Lingering
Fully engaging our imagination and lingering on a Biblical thought is disproportionately productive!
Life is made up of moments strung along like pearls on a strand. Each seemingly insignificant instant of time has the potential to be used or squandered.
Time spent developing our thoughts is sacred if we value our calling as artists in His service.
Working it in to my schedule takes deliberate planning. When focused, I accomplish a lot - otherwise.. well, you know the answer to that!
Creating an environment where your mind is stayed on the Lord is the necessary catalyst for extraordinary productivity. His presence in our artistic pursuits is not automatic. He must be welcomed.
Reverencing and “keeping” His truth as treasure - His precious Word as paramount in our thoughts - ushers in the sacred, distraction-free pauses in our lives.
“Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isa 26:2,3
The Hebrew word "yetser", used in the verse above for "mind", gives us a clue that to enter perfect peace our imaginations have to be engaged.
God breathed creativity flows effortlessly from peaceful minds. Consider how God required it of Solomon in the verse below.
“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” 1Ch 28:9
“Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.” 1Ch 28:10
The same word “yetser” or "imagination" was used here just prior to God giving Solomon a monumentally significant creative assignment.
Solomon’s help and blessing would ensue when God was the focus of his imagination.
I learn from this that prior to all creative projects, it is crucial to
• unclutter my mind
• repent if needed
• be yielded and willing
• be humble enough to ask for His much needed help.
• STAY there with my mind fixed in that attitude of dependence
• trust Him for every aspect of my creative pursuit.
• submit my imagination to Him
• avoid wandering, (and if I do hurry back!)
• remind myself of the disproportionate loss of time if it is squandered by straying down any rabbit paths.
Then, however others score you, you will still be found pleasing in His sight.
Only He knows the level of fruitfulness that we will attain with His assistance, by using the single minded focus of our God approved imaginations!
I plan on leaning upon Him as best I can for my creative pursuits. Do join me in this.
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