Kids love imaginative play. They create new ways to interact with their world on playgrounds, in their bedrooms or in neighborhood backyards. They jump, flail their arms, fall in the grass, climb, get down on their knees and look at bugs, play dress up. They get sunburned, scrape their knees and have splinters pulled from their fingers, a small price for the fun of exploring. Imaginative play is essential to their maturation and growth.
Is imagination any less important to adults in our growth as Christians?
The Bible commands us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). We know the difference between the "right brained," or creative side, and "left brained," analytical side, description of brain function. We are to love God with both sides of our brain, including our imagination. Often we're suspicious of that faculty, concerned its use might lead us away from God. The Scriptures talk about the error of those who follow their own imaginations. "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: What sorrow awaits the false prophets who are following their own imaginations and have seen nothing at all!" (Ezekiel 13:3).
Even though one of God's gifts has been perverted does not mean it should be denigrated and shuffled off to the sidelines of our lives. Imagination allowed the skilled craftsmen who built the tabernacle to envision God's plans for its construction. They had to "see" it in their minds in order to create the tabernacle, bringing his plans to physical reality. Imagination and creativity are gifts from God we can trust, use, and enjoy in our lives for his service. We have to rediscover their power and use them effectively.1