Faith and the Power of Imagination

The passing of the founder of Apple last year spawned thousands of headlines and stories about his life. I love to read about the innovation and imagination of his technology empire.

I remember an article that claimed Apple executives imagined things like FaceTime, Siri, and the iPad twenty-five years ago… when phones were still attached to cords and plugged into the wall,when the Internet was still a science experiment. I was a little weirded outrecently to read an article about the scientist who believes the science fiction idea of a “warp-drive” (that’s faster than light speed)may be a real possibility in the future(…imagine that,Trekkies).

The imagination is a powerful thing.

Today’speople of faitharen’t sooptimistic when it comes to imagination…which is strange. Think about it. Christians, in general, areviewed as thefolks always “blocking progress.” Sometimes I am embarassed to think that our cultural Ethos could be summed up with the phrase “You can’t do that.” We are constantly at odds with science and technology…

But that isn’t the history of faith – it isn’t our true Story. The Jesus “brand” 2000 year ago was constantly pushing the boundaries of possibility… the ultimate possibilities. Resurrection spawned revolution and imaginative benevolence. Did you know that Christians were the first to begin adopting orphaned children? The first to view children as having rights? For centuries, people of faith were the innovators, the writers, the painters and the learners.

Somehow, the 20th century saw Christians transition into the role of naysayers.

Imagination is the lifeblood of progress. Before we write a book, we imagine ourselves as a writer. Before we win the game, we imagine ourselves hitting the winning shot. There is something profoundly spiritual about our imaginations.

Maybe God has given us an imagination so that we can envision the possibilities past who we are today and into who we were made to be. I write in my new book Holy Nomad, “One of the most empowering tools we carry in this endeavor to step from our diminutive cells is our ability to envision the great adventure beyond the gray cell walls: to peer past our broken reflection in the antique mirrors of our lives …and see ourselves walking toward the Nomad. There is so often a great chasm between the reality of our cells and the freedom of the Nomadic Way, and our God-given imagination constitutes the essential tools — the hammer, nails, ropes, and ladders — that enable us to bridge that great divide.”

The truth about faith, science, and technology is they all are powered by God-given imagination.

Steve Jobs isn’t remembered for being the 10th richest man in the world; but for the things his company imagined long before they seemed possible. You might even be carrying one in your hand right now.

As people of faith, our very calling is grounded in ourability to imagine… what does redemptionand justicereally look like? Who were we really made to be? God has planted those seeds in our minds…

We should be leading the way.

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