As I think back to my childhood, I don't remember having very many toys. What toys I had were mostly for outdoor use, with only a few to play with inside in case of a bad storm. My four-year-old son on the other hand, doesn't have very many outdoor toys to play with. He is mostly an indoor child, because we live in an apartment, and because he thinks being outside isn't very much fun. It reminds me that the generation that is coming up now also has a different view of the church.
When I played with my toys, I could pretend all sorts of adventures. My son sees a toy as it is. If the toy is a car, then it must drive on a road. If it is a plane, it must fly in the air. I would have taken those same toys and been in outer space with a moon-buggy to explore a new planet. The same is happening with the church, in ways both good and bad.
The imagination of this generation is very limited. Some see the world and think there is no way to change it. Believing so, they limit what can be done through them. This leads them in the direction of faithlessness. This is the road to destruction. On the other hand, some see the Bible as literal. Not using their own imagination to determine what the Scriptures truly mean, these young people simply accept the Bible as Truth. This type of faith is the kind we need to take the church as a whole to the next level of faith. That faith will move the mountains of indecision, greed, lust, envy, and spiritual laziness that overshadow the church leadership today.
We need to return to the "toys" that Christ gave us through the Holy Spirit. We need to imagine that it is possible for Christians to change our own community through prayer, fasting and the use of the gifts of the Spirit. By testing our "toys", we will begin to build our faith in Christ. When we begin walking in a greater faith, we gain understanding of our Lord. Jesus will reveal Himself to those that love Him.
Jesus tells us to accept the Kingdom of God as a little child. In other words, have faith as a child has faith. My son drives his toy car on a road that he built, not because he was told to do it that way. He does it because he knows the simple truth: a car drives on a road. Christ said all things are possible through Him, for those who believe. He also said that all we needed was the faith the size of a grain of mustard seed. We have the knowledge of this in our minds, but do we believe this with all of our heart?
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This is a wonderful comparison of the new way of thinking being instilled in our children and illustrates the effect that has on their beliefs. I was a little confused on the illustration because it didn't take a clear course. I think your direction was more towards us acknowledging the different way people see things today and try to reach them that way. I totally agree, but another angle that can be taken from your article (which is one I employ with my own kids) is to begin to try to reverse some of the dry, underacheiving attitudes of the day. I try to get my children to see the airplane as a spaceship headed for the moon and that all things are possible. Schools approach everything with their definition of "self-esteem" and nobody excels and nobody fails. Anyway, it is a good article and very thought provoking, to me anyway. -Patrick
I was surprised to see no one has commented on this article yet. I was a little confused as to whether "imagination" spritually speaking was a good thing or bad thing. Do you want us to imagine what God can do or do you want us to take God's Word literally and expect it to happen? I wasn't sure which was your emphasis but I enjoyed the comparison of a child's faith with our Christian walk. God bless and keep writing! Donna