There are some things in the world where a healthy respect is appropriate. That’s not the issue here.
We as a species have the ability to imagine what might come about, and, if we want to, to fear that. The fear that begins with, “But what if….” is real.
That’s what Father brought to my attention this morning: the process of imagining what might happen, what things could maybe turn out like, even what surely will happen except for something trustworthy intervening.
The picture he showed me a picture of a very high, transparent bridge. A man on the bridge had suddenly looked down and saw nothing between him and the river hundreds of feet below. He freaked out.
That fearful man didn’t have all the data, but he was responding at least an approximation of reasonably, based on the limited data that he had.
Then Father took a left turn.
“That man on the bridge was imagining what would happen if there really was nothing beneath him.”
I scratched my head and thought about it. We walked in silence for a while.
After a while, Father reminded me of my (not insubstantial) skills at imagining what may happen and responding to those imaginations with fear or regret. There are maybe a lot of us that are pretty good at that.
He kept turning left. “These people who imagine what might happen and respond with fear, these people have a powerful imagination. That’s a powerful gift.”
I confess that I haven’t had much patience for myself or for others when one or the other of us imagines a “what if” and responds in fear. That process has really irritated me, and sometimes I’ve responded in anger or frustration or legalism or some such.
But today, Father showed me the other side of that situation.
I’m going to have to reflect on this a fair bit. Now it’s time to learn to use that powerful tool for the kingdom.
Imagination is a tool. Use the tool for good.
One of the coolest things about God is that he creates beauty in just about
everything he does.
This is glorious. I think of it as God finger-painting on the sky. But he only does it in the most unpopulated part of the planet, in the middle of the night when nobody’s looking.
Even when there’s nobody there to appreciate it, he makes beauty.
But this is more than that. The Northern Lights were out recently. These beautiful decorations in the sky are the evidence (yet again) of his tender care for those of us that inhabit this planet.
The light show we see from the ground is caused by
Most of these particles are deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field, and continue their journey into deep space. A small percentage of particles leak through the Earth’s magnetic field and are funneled downwards towards the safe spaces around the Earth’s magnetic North and South poles, where they’re discharged safely.
It’s this light we see when we look at the Northern Lights. It’s God protecting us from the explosive radiation of the sun. Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field, and that’s why Mars has almost no atmosphere. It doesn’t need protecting: people don’t live there.
But even here, as God safely detonates the plasma from the sun’s eruption, he does it with beauty.
God seems to be a big fan of beauty.
I was driving somewhere or the other, minding my own business chugging down the freeway on cruise control. I was thinking about stuff. I do that.
Along comes this little white sports car; it passed me, and pulled right in front of me and slowed down, not a lot, but enough that I needed to drop out of cruise control and change lanes. So I did.
Then it sped up again, pulled in front of me again, and slowed down again. I wrestled with the temptation to say some things, but about that time it turned off onto the exit lane. I wrestled some more, and George Carlin’s quote came to mind (“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”).
I understand that Carlin was describing human judgmental human nature, not human driving, so I decided not to call the driver of the white car any sort of names; I recognized that whatever things I called him would function as a curse, cuz words do that, so I restrained myself. That’s not Dad’s way. I just kept driving. No big deal.
It was then I “heard” a video game “be-doop” noise in my spirit, and had the sense that I’d just “leveled up.” OK. That was interesting.
“Now I can trust you with authority in your words more, Son.”
Wait, what? That was a test? I had no idea!
I had a million questions, but he was patient with me. (That’s not actually uncommon.)
He reminded me of the parable of the Talents and its lesson: if I’m faithful with whatever he gives me responsibility for, the reward is more of it, and specifically more authority in the Kingdom (Matthew 25: “I will make you ruler over many things!”).
He explained that the principle was true with my words as well. As I’m faithful with using my words in ways that extend and expand the Kingdom, I’ll find that my words will have more effect.
I thought you might enjoy sharing my lesson here.