Imagine: form a mental image or concept of; believe (something unreal or untrue) to exist or be so. This is the first definition in my on-line dictionary. The original Latin meant "form an image of". The fact that the definition now includes believing something unreal or untrue speaks to our cynicism I believe. It seems we use our imagination to escape as much as we use it as the first step in bringing things into being. And it doesn't help that scripture was translated to use it in a negative way--our imaginations can lead us astray!
John Lennon wrote a song called "Imagine" about his hope for world peace. When we were in New York in June 2001 I took this photo in Central Park of the memorial to him:
John Lennon's lifestyle might be criticized and he was even considered an atheist, yet people still gravitate to his message of peace. Why? Because we have this God-shaped hole in our hearts that needs to be filled with the only kind of peace that can be obtained--Jesus Christ. If we have His Holy Spirit, our imaginations have been redeemed and can be used in a positive way. Imagining peace and love can go a long way in bringing them about because God works through our thoughts, for this is where our actions take root. Scripture tells us how the world here on earth will end--it will not be in peace--but that doesn't mean we can't make a difference in someone's life right here right now so they will realize their need for Jesus, and they, too, can have the hole in their hearts filled.
Father, in surrendering my heart to You I can trust that my imagination will be used for good and not for escape.
Link to scripture:http://bible.cc/psalms/26-2.htm