Happy New Year!
During the month of January, we will be exploring the theme of “Imagination.”
There are many ways we can use imagination, and all of them help to shape our reality. We can imagine a better world or the best possible outcome in any situation and be inspired to work toward them. We can also imagine worse-case scenarios and either begin to prepare for them in practical ways or choose to give up entirely in the face of them. No matter what we imagine, we have agency and we can choose how to respond to what we foresee.
We often imagine that we know what others are thinking or feeling, and what we imagine can shape our responses to them, either for good or for ill. As valuable as imagination can be, it is also important to remember that our imaginations sometimes “run wild” and do not always reflect what is real or likely. Worry is a form of imagination, after all, that is not always helpful.
We can also be comforted by our imagination, as when we imagine the existence of a “friend,” whom nobody else can see or hear. In their company, perhaps we no longer feel quite as alone. We can “imagine” conversations with loved ones now gone or with gods or goddesses or other inspiring spiritual beings. And just because we might imagine them, doesn’t make them or their presence any less “real.”
We can imagine going places that we’ve never been, doing thing that we’ve never done, taking risks that we’ve never taken. We can imagine having conversations with people we’ve never met. Or we can use our imaginations to have conversations with loved ones or co-workers that we are afraid to have in person. We can use our imagination to rehearse feelings, to practice strategies, to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally for likely future events.
What is your own relationship with imagination? How has imagination served you? Have you become more or less imaginative as you have aged?
I invite you to join me in reflecting on the power of imagination throughout the course of this month. And, as we enter this final phase of our interim time together, I invite you to continue to imagine how you want to be together as a congregation in this new year. What do you imagine doing together? How do you imagine welcoming your new prospective minister? How will you work together to create your best possible future?
I wish you all the blessings of imagination, creativity, and possibility!
See you in (virtual) church!