When I was young I had the greatest imagination. My older brother and his friends would make fun of me when I would break into a shootout with my gun finger in the middle of church or a restaurant. I would suddenly spin around and shoot at the light fixtures or something. Nobody could see the bad guys but someone had to be the hero.
All I needed was a good sword shaped stick in my hand and three hours in the back yard and I could liberate England from the black knight and all of his evil foot soldiers. As I got a little older I got into acting. I played parts in school plays and a couple of community theater things. Then my sister Sharon started writing these vacation bible school dramas and I jumped at the opportunity to dress up and play “make believe” as an adult. So much fun!
I always wanted to hang on to a little bit of that ability to use my imagination, especially since most adults that I know have lost it entirely. I like the look in my son’s eyes when I jump into one of his imaginary battles. It’s wide eyed innocence and its beautiful.
I know some parents that try to purge it out of their children. They think that the sooner their kid can get rid of the fantasy and embrace the “reality” of life, the better off they will be.
Mathew 13:3 says “…Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Obviously, it could be argued that this Scripture is not talking about ones ability to play with imaginary friends, however, it is making a pretty strong statement. “Ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” unless you can “become as children.”
The other day my daughter Lilyan asked me what my favorite scripture is. I told her Hebrews chapter 11. Why, she asked and I explained that chapter 11 is packed full of ordinary people, like me, that did extraordinary things because of faith.
Bible apologists are great at explaining the bible as perfectly logical but there are some things about the Christian walk that are utterly, (and sometimes) ridiculously illogical. For those illogical things, you need faith. Faith gives the ability to say something is there when it isn’t and do things that are impossible and believe things that have not yet come to pass. If it sounds a little bit like “make believe” then, sure, you’re on the right track.
II Corinthians 5:7 says, “…we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Faith seems to get harder as we get older because we start thinking that “REAL” is only what we can see, taste, feel, smell, and hear and everything else is “FAKE.” Self help books that tell us to “Fake It Till You Make It,” and “Dress For The Job You Want,” and “Awaken the Giant Within,” teach us some good principals but after a few disappointments in life, we tend to put all of these suggestions away for good.
I am here to tell you that it’s time to unpack and dust off your ability to make believe again! It’s time to return to the innocence of believing something that has no evidence to support it. Like Abraham believing in the promise of a son for all those years then believing that God would save that son from his blade.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
It’s time for us to get comfortable with the idea that faith is indeed a “substance,” and that it is tangible evidence of things that cannot be seen.
For some of you it may take some practice but hang in there. Maybe you could start by playing with your kids or grandkids again. Learn from them how to see what is not there and make the world around you disappear.
You may ask, Ike, are you saying that we can’t please God or go to heaven if we can’t think like a child? Nope, I didn’t say it, the Bible did. Have Faith and have some fun.