I stepped back from the edge. Red, molten lava flowed inches from my feet. I could feel the heat on my face and my hands as I prepared to jump the gap. Something dark moved below the surface. Steeling myself with a deep breath, I moved forward and leaped for the solid surface on the other side. A claw thrust from the lava grabbed my leg. Yelling, I scrabbled for purchase on the shore, but was quickly yanked backwards. The burning lava lapped up around me. My skin turned into hard scales where it touched me. All human thought departed.
That was the game that I played with my siblings as a child. We would play epic indoor games of tag, the human children leaping from sofa to table to chair, all while trying to stay free of the clutches of the “lava monster.”
Our imaginations knew no bounds. Everything was exciting. An adventure. Every day was full of magical promise.
I read Have Space Suit, Will Travel and the next week was spent traveling the galaxy, battling space creatures. I owned a cape. A sword. A rock collection and several lizards instantly made me the curator of a natural history museum.
Life was steeped with magic. Hurt, worry, and anxiety vanished in seconds when I entered the realm of imagination. I knew how to play!
Where does the magic go? When do we start to loosen our grip on play and imagination? Turning from the joyful moments and feeding on the anxiety and worries of modern life? We become stuck inside the stone walls of only what we see around us. Thoughts darken as imagination grows stale.
How can we turn this around and again start to imagine and find play?
It is written, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
Children have an incomplete understanding of the world. They do not comprehend the dark and terrible evils that lurk around us. As we grow older we start to see more than just the dim shadow of the monster. Our childish innocence is lost and we are drawn to dwell on the darkness that surrounds us.
But that is not the whole journey. We shouldn’t become lost in the dark places and become grown people who only huddle in one small corner of their world for fear of what lurks out there. Hiding from the monsters. We are the monster slayers, not the monster fearers.
Worship our Father and find the place where you can live in the light and not be scared of the monsters in the dark. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Reclaim your imagination.
We need to become heroes. Knights and princesses. Fear should weaken its hold as we grow joyfully playful in our ways. Everything around us is magic. Our unbounded imaginations can be used to bring amazing changes to the world around us. We must become TRUE men.
We need men who imagine what is not and make it so. One man imagined a thousand songs in every pocket, and created the iPod. How much more should we, who call Christ our Lord and King, be able to bring our imaginations to bear in His service? If ever your imagination starts to falter, then just “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.” With His strength we can imagine and do all things.
No longer imagine as a child, but DO imagine and create with the heart and mind of a man. “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name…”
Reclaim the magic that God blessed you with. Make like a tree and clap your hands.