When we read, we step into the interior theater of our minds. We cozy up to a story that we know is going to have us on the edge of our seat, that’s going to take us to distant places and put us face-to-face with mysterious characters. But most delectable of all is the promise of something cohesive, something meaningful, that’s going to emerge from the woodwork of the craftmanship of the story. Reading is a perfect example of the power of the human imagination.

Imagination is the uniquely human ability to sense what we have never encountered before. To live through experiences that we have never witnessed. To walk through places that don’t yet exist.

Engaging our imagination is a wonderful way to learn about the world around us. To immerse ourselves in history and understand what it’s like to be another person. With our imagination, we can step into others’ emotions and perspectives. If we walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, it makes us more sympathetic, patient, and loving individuals.

Imagination helps us learn and empathize.

What if it could help us evolve?

When we read, we follow the journey of a certain individual, and we witness their transformation, whether it’s psychological or physical or both. We are brought inside the deepest intricacies of their psyche and soul, how they navigate the strange pathways of their hearts and habits.

So, what if we were to step inside our interior theater, flick off the lights, and project a movie that unfolded the story of our lives?

What kind of narrative would we tell ourselves?

For too many of us, it’s easy to fall prey to the negative, self-created scenarios that we tell ourselves. Whenever we get stuck in a loop of imagining that fills us with more despair than a sense of destiny, we must be on our guard. Like if we tell ourselves that our bad habits and vices are set in stone, that we will never be able to change or escape our current life choices, that we are born “bad characters” from the start. Those visions can be self-sabotaging and self-fulfilling if we don’t question their source and recalibrate our sights onto God’s ultimate benevolent plan for ourselves and our world.

The best way to use our imagination is to unite our vision with that of the Lord's.

We can use our imaginations to expand the scope of our view to include the redemption story of the millions of those stand among us, who have come before, and will come after. Such a perspective breeds compassion, humility, and hope.

At the same time, we can see the vital importance of our presence, a link in the eternal chain of God’s vast design. Understanding our role should embolden us with courage and open our eyes to the possibilities that God wants to reveal to us.

Our imaginations can unlock the finer details of what our life could look like in the days to come. It can unveil the texture and weave of what our dreams achieved could look like. And it can inspire us to work through the mundane to find the powerful, to stick through the tough, long parts to make it to the satisfying ending.

Because, deep down, our imagination is really a fruit of faith.

The faith that we are all part of a story that has been authored by someone good. Who stands up for the little guy, gives freely, and loves infinitely.

So, we must take the time to be both readers and actors in our own life story. To reflect on the greater drama at play so that when the decision points come, both big and small, we choose the path that leads us to our hopeful ending. We must examine our character and actions daily so we can set ourselves on a path to transformation, not one of tumult, anxiety, or downfall.

When we do see ourselves as important characters in God’s beautiful story, we can be freed of our worse imaginings and enjoy a vision of the world as God intends it.

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