Nurturing an Imagination

Thursday, March 20, 2014

If your friends with me on my personal facebook, you may have seen my post last week about Caroline pretending she was on train ride when she went to bed. In response to this post, I got a pretty cool comment from my previous boss about children and imaginations. He said:

"80% of all toddlers under age 5 use there imagination and dream daily:) 80% of adults no longer have dreams or use there imagination after age 38 NEVER LET ANYONE STEAL YOUR DREAMS CAROLINE:)"

I really felt like I could relate to that statistic as I'm constantly overwhelmed by Caroline's ability to "pretend", and continue to watch my own creativity and imaginary ideas slowly diminish as I get older and life gets...well "lifeier".  
 I have posted my status for you below-


Her little mind is magical. Everything is possible inside there. It makes her laugh historically when you make a stuffed animal talk in a high pitched voice, because her mind is diverse enough to "pretend" there is a real person inside of there. You give her a stick and it becomes a magic wand that can turn mommy into a "Queen". You supply empty shampoo bottles and shaving cream lids in the bath, and she makes "soup". 

The past few nights (every night since the movie has been out on DVD), we have watched Disney's "Frozen". While she watches the movie she takes out her Frozen figurines and has them reenact the entire movie. *Frozen in stereo is a totally different experience by the way. I just love hearing each part twice as she repeats the characters really I love it!* 
When Princess Elsa goes away, she is tossed behind a couch pillow, and we get the "don't touch her she is in her castle" warning if we try to move her so we can sit down. Caro doesn't need the fancy playsets or props to love playing with her dolls; the cushions, blankets, and ottoman will do just fine as the Kingdom, Mountains, and Castle. 

I just wish so much that I could live in that imaginary world that she is so familiar with. Where fun is lurking around every corner. Where a leaf is "magical" and has powers. Where grass is gas for her cozy coupe car. Where mulch is food for her bear when we are on a walk, and we collect every daisy we pass because those are her "collection". 

As a parent I stare wide eyed at her in admiration of her innocence, and trust in us, and happiness. 
As a child of God I wonder if I rob him of this. Do I fail to come to him with child like faith as I have been called to? Do I truly rejoice in what I have, and use my pillows and blankets for fun instead of wishing for the whole Frozen playset before I can start enjoying the toys? 

In the Bible, the gospel reminds us of how VITAL it is for us to have attributes in our faith that resemble that of a child during childhood. 

"And said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 18:3

It doesn't suggest that Christianity will be more fun if you do, or that it will be easier, or that you will have more jewels on your crown in Heaven. It clearly says UNLESS YOU DO, YOU WILL NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM.

This sounds scary, and intimidating, and at first one can easily wonder:
"Why is loving God so complicated. Why can't loving him be enough"

But, what we fail to so often understand is that Christian Faith is a lot like Childhood. You must fully RELY on our father to care and provide. Like Children we are not capable of providing necessary means. If you don't rely, it's not true belief. You don't truly believe he is who he says he is if you don't believe that he is the only true provider, that what you have and what you have done is not a mistake, or by chance. To truly believe you MUST have a childlike faith in something unseen, in the same way a little one believes in "magical powers" though no child has seen "powers". 

Hand in hand goes this verse with the well known: 

"For whomever shall believe in him shall have everlasting life"
John 3:16

To have everlasting life you must believe, and to believe you must become childlike. As adults believing in what we don't understand is unnatural, but watching a child believe in what they don't understand is beautiful. We all WANT that. We all NEED that. 

So how do you GET that?
You read the "fairy tales". You read the stories that suggest animals can talk, and princesses have wands, and kisses change people from toads. The only direct link a child has to their imagination is a world presented to them via literature and media.

We must read the Bible. We have to listen to the stories of those who believed and God worked through. We have to read the stories like that of Abraham and Sarah, that "magical powers" aka GOD, were able to bring life into the world through a ninety-nine year old man and ninety year old woman well past their  "scientific" child bearing ages. You have to expose yourself to miracles. 
This world won't gleefully welcome your ideas of walking on water. It won't convince you that five loaves of bread and 2 fish can feed the masses. 

Read the fairytales, so you too can believe in the FACT that you are a prince/princess, child of THE King; a king with power and control over his kingdom who does rule, and who will bring justice to those who do not believe, and will not allow those who don't believe to eat at his table. 

I won't believe kissing a toad will turn him into a prince, however, that's just gross. ;)

(Here the Frozen characters were playing "duck duck goose")

...and that my Dear, was all she wrote...


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