Picture this: An intensely lit, blindingly white room with one open door in the back that leads to all things pitch black.
Then picture a bucolic, stunningly beautiful vineyard with sloping hills, a rising sun, vivid color contrasts of blues, greens, yellows, fresh air.
You have a choice: You can walk through the door into the darkness OR you can reside in the vineyard.
Which would you choose?
As we conclude our reflections on imagination, we have learned that in life we can train ourselves to deal positively with dashed hopes and expectations and that we can willfully resist the temptation to allow our imaginations to run wild when we feel jealous or afraid. We actually have the ability to control our thoughts, but we must consistently and repeatedly practice doing so.
In other words, we are determined to use our imagination FOR us, not AGAINST us.
Every single day, I face my own mental battles and the option to walk through the door into the darkness or to remain in the light, and I'm sure you do, too.
Sometimes I'm challenged by a sad or distressing memory or regret; sometimes I wrestle with a comment someone said to me; I'm feeling disappointed in myself or others; and other times, I'm my own worst enemy and discouragement overwhelms me.
In all scenarios, I have learned to tell myself: "Stop. I am not going to walk through that door into darkness where there is no good benefit for me or others. I choose life, health, wholeness, and peace. I play for God's team. In His vineyard there is no lack of any good thing. There I find security, forgiveness, blessings, freedom, rest, strength, and hope. I am His child, an heir. I have His Spirit inside me and the mind of Christ to help me find and practice Truth."
This self-talk is the discipline of using "Truth Trump Cards" to control my thoughts which influence my brain and consequently direct my mood and behavior. This is how I reorient myself to continue to walk in God's love.
Often, as previously discussed, at the root of darkened imaginings is fear.
Both Love and fear are powerful motivators, but Love is stronger and more deeply influential.
The Apostle and Evangelist John wrote this so beautifully in his letter to the Christians (in Ephesus it seems): "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love" (1 John 4:18).
I don't know about you, but I want to be perfected in love (to have completion and fullness, maturity, to be characterized by consummate human integrity and virtue). This is really hard to do without having first received God's love.
In other words, when we have God's love in our hearts, we have the Supreme and Divine Advantage. In our mental storehouse are innumerable Truth Trump Cards that we can quickly cast over our toxic, fruitless thinking.
We are better equipped to wage war in the battlefield of our minds. We are offered victory through Christ who defeated any and all darkness that we could possibly ever imagine. We are offered a nice place to do life in God's vineyard.
If this sounds hokey to you, I am truly sorry. There was a day when I also would have thought this was weird, foreign, and absurd. But I was spiritually blind, and spiritually blind people cannot see the Truth until the scales fall from their eyes.
For me, I found myself in that dark room, chased by the Hound of Heaven and ultimately rescued by the Author of Love.
Hmmmm....speaking of hound dogs, Rico says hello. He wonders why you are not subscribing to our aGH monthly newsletter! I mean who doesn't want to enter a drawing for a free book and $25 gift card coming your way?! Plus we will send you a GRATITUDE WHEEL to download, print, and personalize! Just click on the aGH Newsletter tab to enter your email address and name. And I promise I won't misuse this information! :)
Until next time, I'm so grateful that God allows us the choice on how we use our imaginations. May He abundantly bless you and encourage you today!
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