Imagine That!


Imagine That!

My faith took a big step forward because of my secular job.  It was decades ago and I was working for an ice cream company at the time.  The business jumped on board the “continuous improvement” bandwagon.  The basic theory is that all work is a process and all processes are flawed and therefore can be improved.  As the process is improved, waste is decreased and productivity is increased.  Less waste and higher productivity means more profit, and businesses like that. 

I was one of a handful of employees who had the opportunity to go to New Hampshire to be trained in how to help work groups improve their work processes.  Over simplified, a trained facilitator like me helped the group better understand their work process by asking “why?” at least five times.  Because the work always focused on the experts – those who actually worked in the process every day, it delivered significant measurable results. 

I was thinking one day how strange it was that I had helped all sorts of groups form back-office support to production to distribution channels improve their processes.  I was no business or mechanical or logistic expert.   It occurred to me that the improvements came because there was no pressure on me to know the answer to all those issues.  My job was to help them ask the right questions.

That revelation led to the development of a little workshop that was the most fun thing I ever did and got paid for – it was a class called The Power of Imagination.  I gave everyone an imagination pretest that they needed to complete using a box of Crayola crayons – and we didn’t skimp either – they got the full stadium assortment of 64 crayons!  I won’t go into detail for the sake of time, but let’s just say that senior executives all the way down to the janitors chuckled, and enjoyed, and they all passed.  It turned out that they all had an imagination.  No doubt some had forgotten that as they trudged through the harsh realities of the business world.

And it was vital to start there.  Every small and great human accomplishment whether that was the invention of the safety pin, or an ice cream bar, or a polio vaccine or a more just nation, all began with someone who saw a certain reality and imagined an even better reality. 

It took me years to apply what I learned in business to my life.  If I wanted to know more about who I am I needed to begin by starting by asking the right questions.  Those questions about life are the same ones that we all ask eventually.  What is my purpose?  Where am I going?  What happens at death?  As I began to sort out the process for determining those answers I came across one new question: What ignites the imagination?  There must be a cause; every fire begins with a spark. 

I’m sure that if you’ve read this far you’re likely smiling because you know that the right question is ‘who’ not ‘what’ sparks the imagination.  Once I imagined the right question, finding the answer was easy because He desires us to know Him.  The answers to my life questions were hiding in my faith life.  It’s not really surprising that we would discover Him here, because He is THE Creator.  We are here because He imagined us into being.  As we are created in His image and likeness, He has blessed us with the gift of the imagination.  He wants us to discover that we are not part of the question; rather we are part of the answer.  Imagine that! 

I hope that the picture above was puzzling to you.  It looks empty.  But, look again.  It is a picture of today's sky.  All of the stars, the planets, the galaxies that move across the vastness of the universe are all there, even if you can’t see them.  The deepest truth is always a matter of faith.  And, as night always reveals the heavens to those look up, so He will always reveal Himself to all those who look.   

His Peace <><

Deacon Dan