Holy Imagination & Holy Discontent
Recently, I discovered a great mental exercise that John Maxwell included in his book Developing the Leaders Around You. In this exercise, which is designed to help you identify your dreams, you ask yourself two question: "If I had________________," I would_________________."
If you had unlimited time, money, information, anything you asked for, what would you do? Whatever your answer is to the second question is what you're dreaming for your life, Maxwell asserts.
The genius behind this kind of exercise is that once you start thinking about the possibility of your dream, you start to wonder if you might either already have all of the resources you need to achieve it or at least a way to acquire them.
I got to thinking about how this applies to our journey with Jesus, and the struggles we often have to imagine a world that has not yet been made right.
I'm afraid more than a few of us Jesus-followers spend a lot of time wondering why things are so bad in the world, and we've got good reasons for doing so. But, when we incessantly focus on all the things that are not as they should be, we can easily lose our ability to imagine them any differently.
"That's just the way things are," we might say with an air of resignation. "This is just the new normal." "There's nothing I can do to change it."
But following Jesus wholly and completely requires that we exercise some holy imagination. Jesus taught his followers not to accept the world as it is, but to imagine what it could be and will be when God gets what God wants.
Jesus also called his followers to be the very agents of change to bring about God's kingdom here on earth. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden."
When we begin to imagine a better world, we also find that we are filled with what Bill Hybels called, "holy discontent." We no longer want to accept the status quo, and we begin looking for ways to use our holy imagination to discover what is needed for transformation.
May you find the spark for a holy imagination today as you dream of a better world. May what you imagine fill you with a holy discontent, and a renewed passion to shine your light in the dark corners of the status quo.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.