Monday, June 27, 2011

Rehashing A Fantasized Faith

I have a creative imagination.  Some of this creativity can be attributed to growing up in the country and not having a lot of friends when I was a child.  There weren’t many other children around and the ones who were around went to a different school than I did.  This led to man adventures in the backyard.   I remember shooting my BB gun at imaginary invading armies much like the scene in “A Christmas Story.”  When I ran out of BB’s I found some uncooked spaghetti and broke it into pieces and found that I could fire these small spears into trees, man that was a fun discovery. 

I also remember playing with my G.I. Joe’s for hours, riding my Tonka trucks down large hill and spilling out at the bottom dusting myself off and walking back up the hill.  I remember ramping my bike off the small hill of the well house, in fact I would go on top of a gigantic hill get as much speed as possible and jump off the hill and sail along for many feet before landing.  This adventure landed me a very short distance from my neighbor’s house and one time I didn’t have enough time to break before I slammed into my neighbors’ concrete porch with steel railings.  

It was a terrible thud.

Mrs. Riggins came out to see if I was ok as I tried to hurriedly dust myself off and prop up her crippled flowers.  The bike was totaled, I was seeing double.  I went to the trailer we lived in at the time and laid down because, in my mind, this ordeal had made me tired.  I have always wondered, since entering adulthood, if I had a concussion and maybe laying down wasn’t the best idea.  

I was a crazy kid.

I had, and still have, a vivid imagination…

…this leads me to a topic that I have discussed on here before, but still find myself muddling through. 
Fantasy is defined as imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained.  It is the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.  It is a mental image, especially when unreal or fantastic.  


Faith is described as confidence or trust in a person or thing. Faith is a belief that is not based on proof. 

There are certain things about what I believe that are absolute, I know the work of Christ, the life He lived (and lives), the atonement of the cross, the death, burial, and resurrection.  There are other things that are at war in my spirit verses my physical, rational mind.  Where does the line fall?

 I know that the Spirit will never lead you to do anything that would contradict the Word.

How did Noah know that the ark wasn’t some crazy, fantasized whim?
How did Abraham know that taking Isaac on top of the mountain was what God wanted?
How did Gideon know that sending away all but 300 soldiers was the right thing to do?
How did Joshua know the walking around a fortified city was exactly what God wanted?
How did Paul know that a person “had the faith to be healed” so that when he prayed with them, they were?

It seems like fantasy, but it isn’t at all fantasy.  Many would say the difference is that God talked to these people.  What about Joseph Smith?  He believed God talked to him, and he began a religion that draws people away from the truth of Christ to the tune of hundreds of thousands.  Once again, the rule stands, what ol’ Joe heard contradicted the Word and so he felt that he had to amend it to justify his stance.  That is a crime that the Word speaks clearly on.

How do I know that the crazy thing that God is calling me to is really God?  Or is it me?  Is it faith or is it fantasy?  Does it contradict His Word?  If not, what do I do if it bucks against tradition?  You have to follow God, right?

I wonder how well we wrestle with this, or if we just say to ourselves, “it doesn’t make sense to me so it must not be God.”  I believe God has some “crazy” things for us to do, but we don’t listen, don’t wrestle, and subsequently explain away His called and disqualify ourselves from the wonder that He wants to accomplish through us and let us joyfully be a part of.  

Why would we want any less that all of what God has for us?

What is God saying to you?  What is it that you are feeling burning inside of you, what idea consumes your thoughts but you turn it away as fantasy?  What if it is more?  What if it is something that God is calling you to?  Does it go against the Word?  Does it fall right in line?  Have you prayed about it, or just blown it off because it “just couldn’t be” something God wanted?  

These are all questions I have asked myself.  I believe it is good to have a healthy amount of wrestling in your faith.  These matters, alone, and the things that I feel that I have heard from God have stretched my faith, broadened my faith, grown me, and given me a much greater perspective.  

The point of all of this is that I hope it causes you to search out the deeper matters in your life.  It becomes easy to muddle through life maintaining the manageable lifestyle we have grown accustomed to, but that is when we lose focus on the calling.  God has called us to something, and that something should be our goal.  It may be to be a good spouse, good parent, an evangelist, an entrepreneur, a business owner, an astrophysicist, an engineer, or the best McDonald’s drive-thru operator there ever was.

Are we searching?  Are we willing to wrestle?  Are we to take the leap?  Are we willing to at least think about getting out of the boat?  What if it is more than fantasy?  What if it is a call to faith?  

Happy wrestling!

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