Imagine?

“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”

John Lennon

John Lennon’s 1971 hit “Imagine” has been used in so many contexts to represent a vision of the world quite different from the one in which we live. Agree with all of the lyrics, some or none of them, it is hard to argue that Lennon’s work gained popularity because it challenges the listener to do exactly what the song is titled: Imagine! It is interesting to note that Lennon later credited his wife with the original inspiration for the lyrics, from a book of her poetry. It isn’t hard to believe the impact that a spouse can have on any creative person, given the time they spend together. So, the obvious question comes to each of us, who is influencing our imagination? Who is spending time molding our lyrics?

For too many of us, there are multiple ways in which we have permitted some rather questionable actors to have sway in our own imaginations. If we want to know what these characters value, simply take some time to imagine. As we look at our own dreams for our lives and that of the world, we will see the inspiration of the voices to whom we have given space in our minds. I wonder how imaginative that really is when most of the messaging of the world is not about freedom, but rather about conformity.

The words of Jesus are truly imaginative! They describe a world that is the perfect reflection of the glory of God, something that is very hard for us to imagine. But if we are to have any hope of exploring that kind of world, we need to allow our minds to be influenced, like a spouse, by someone who spends precious time in our minds and hearts. Reading Jesus’ word in Scripture is not enough. Praying with and spending time considering and contemplating Jesus’ words is the way! The Church calls this Lectio Divina. Imagine if we turned off the other voices and allowed Jesus’ words to influence us. Now that is a creative world that is not only worth imagining but is also doable. Let us know if we can help.

Peace,
Fr. Mike

fr.mike@duke.edu  c. 919-316-8763 / w. 919-684-1882
Follow me on Twitter @TheDukePriest