Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cultivating the Imagination

The burgeoning faith-work movement has does a fine job refreshing our thinking about the importance of stewardship in the areas of work and creative service. But one area that continues to suffer neglect is that of the human imagination.
The problem isn’t so much with understanding imagination as a “tool” (which it is), but in understanding its deeper and broader purpose in the Christian life. We all recognize and admire the imaginative capacity of a Steve Jobs, for example, insofar as he used it deliver new and innovative conveniences.
But do we have a more basic concern for cultivating and stewarding the imagination in and by itself? Do we see value and meaning in the process of connecting reality with faith, truth with beauty? Do we recognize the type of long-view foundation it takes to even get to that more “useful” Silicon-Valley phase?
We rarely give ourselves the time and space to pause and cultivate this corner of the human intellect, and even when we do, it’s often for the wrong reasons. As Stephen Grabill puts it in Episode 6: “We need to develop a palate for what is good, not just for what it can do for us, but for what it is in itself.” Later in the episode, artist Mako Fujimura echoes this same point. “Perhaps the greatest thing we can do as a Christian community is to behold,” he says. “Behold our God. Behold his creation.”
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