When we stretch our imagination to think about where we are today, and where we may go: Then, and only then, do we begin to realize our true potential.
This is not a new statement, or even an imaginative one, but it is the one statement that will "take us there."
And where is "there"? Did not the "greats," people such as Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Leif Erikson, have something in common? A "stretched imagination" perhaps? Did they "take us there"? Is "there" outside the realm of where "normal" people think? Is "there" somewhere in the stratosphere of life that only certain people can know? And what does this all mean? Must we be theoretical physicists, or inventors, or explorers to have this great "thing" called imagination?
Or is it simply... curiosity... that must permeate our brains in order for us to stretch (and capture?) those alluring thoughts that "take us there"?
Webster's Dictionary states imagination to be: "the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses."
And yet, can we imagine something that we have not had experience with or come in contact with or have learned or been told?
Webster's extended version of the word imagination is: "the power of reproducing images stored in the memory under the suggestion of associated images (reproductive imagination) or of recombining former experiences in the creation of new images directed at a specific goal or aiding in the solution of problems (creative imagination)."
And the synonyms for imagination: ingenuity, enterprise, thought.
What seems to "jump" off the page from the written words above in the description Webster gives us is "creation". So, even if we are using images "stored in the memory" or "associated images" or even if we use our faculties (thoughts) to imagine by "recombining former experiences with new ones" isn't it the "new ones," the "creation" that seems to be what is enlightening: as we think, and create?
And of course, we cannot use the word create without thinking of our Creator. And what an imagination HE had and has!
I do believe God created Heaven and Earth, and while HE did, he gave us the beautiful ability to also create, not only in our minds, but in our hearts and souls; both physically and mentally. I believe HE gave us an ability to use our minds to more fullness than even we can "imagine."
Scripture(Genesis 1:27) tells us "God created man in HIS own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female."
If, indeed, we can use "God's own image," (ourselves, HIS own creations), and "stretch" our minds with the knowledge and wisdom around us, (not only for the good, but for the sharing of the good), we can begin to explore, invent, and create as I believe we are meant to do, and to be.
Someone once told me something, in a group setting, which had an enormous impact on my thinking, and ultimately, my actions. At the time, I had no idea it may be so important or so impactful. It was a teacher, and I remember it was during my "growing up" years, sometime in my 20s.
The teacher asked "if we had a dictionary, a hard-back copy of a dictionary, either with us or at home." I remember answering "yes," and thinking "don't we all?" He then asked us to do something which at first I thought was a bold action, but then realized it seemed almost a "necessity," in order to carry out (mentally) what might turn out to be something important. And it was. So I did it. He said: "Go home tonight, and when you get home, find the dictionary. Look up the word 'impossible' and when you find it, take a pair of scissors and cut it out. Cut the word 'impossible' out of the book, cut it into shreds, and put it in the trash."
At the time, I thought it was a bit outlandish, but something deep inside told me "this is important, do it, it will make a mental impact which will result in good."
So I did. And I realized at that point, having done that simple task, that anyone can do anything they put their mind to: Anyone, with thoughts and actions, tenacity and imagination, can stretch themselves to heights beyond what they ever thought possible.
And to this day, I know now that having done that, it "stretched" my imagination, it helped me "create" thoughts and ideas and images that were boundless, and it "took away" any fear I had of "thinking outside the box." And more than that, it erased the fear of trying new things: exploring, inventing, and imagining.
(Thank you, dear teacher, for that insightful message and action plan you shared!).
So, as we ponder new ideas, and as we wake to new dawns, may we always use our imaginations: may we always be thankful for the ability to use our own brains and think our own thoughts, and yet know that "by association" our mental beings can do so many wonderfully creative things. May "stretching" our imaginations become like stretching a muscle: gaining strength, flexibility, agility, good health and confidence, while we improve to make it the "norm" and the "stretch" begins to surpass boundaries.
We have been "Blessed" from prior generations, and may we also be part of the "Blessings" that pass to our future generations.
May our imaginations -- our very thoughts, our very deeds and actions -- be a benefit to all, as we, too, have also benefited.
May our curiosities, our thoughts, our ingenuities, our insights, our imageries, our visions and ideas, not only inspire ourselves, but also inspire others... in whatever good forms they may become...