On February 13th (the day before Valentine’s Day) I was chatting with Paul J. about Gilbert Keith C., and subsequently I read “Heretics” and came to the conclusion that GKC is good for my sanity and joy. GKC provoked me to perceive that majority of humans are dominated by the imaginary, which means they suffer rampant insecurity and crippling fear. But there is a less-traversed, more narrow, path whose travelers enjoy an abundance of sanity and joy!
Simply put, the secret to sanity and joy is found in swapping the imaginary for the invisible. The imaginary is the breeding ground for anxiety, alarm, cynicism, and disenchantment. In other words, most of what stresses people out and incites them to panic proceeds from imagined offenses and threats. But the invisible is the breeding ground for peace, confidence, hope, and zest! For instance, in his letter to Tim, Paul – in the face of remembering some extremely unpleasant flaws and failures in his life (e.g. blaspheming and insolently opposing and persecuting innocent people) – he basks in the all-eclipsing, all-encompassing, truth of receiving mercy the King of ages, immortal, and INVISIBLE!
Now, at the risk of sounding semantic, this commitment to the invisible relies on the use of our imagination. So we must differentiate between imaginary and imagination. In order to fix our eyes on Him who is unseen, we must employ the gift of imagination, but we must avoid the pitfall of the imaginary. Again, this may sound semantic, but it’s not; it’s the difference between reality and deception. To put it simply, you DO NOT HAVE an imaginary friend; but you DO HAVE an invisible friend. And in this relationship with your VERY REAL invisible friend, your imagination is of paramount importance. This is a major reason why John’s Revelation (a.k.a. the final book of the Γέγραπται) is so imagey …your God-given imagination cannot avoid the impact and impression of the images described in the book. Furthermore, when you read any portion of the Γέγραπται, one of the most primary provocations of the Holy Spirit is bidding you to imaginatively immerse yourself in the stories, scenes, prophecies, dramas, dysfunctions, and poems! And, on a secondary (but still very significant) level, this is why it is exceedingly helpful to read and relish the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’ Connor, John Steinbeck, Theodor Seuss Geisel, CS Lewis, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, etc.
Let me leave you with this… How did Moses endure? Moses, a man who squandered massive privilege. Moses, a man who experienced tremendous failure and dejection. Moses, a man who lived in shame and hiding for 40 years. Moses, a man who was commissioned, against his will, to lead a nation of slaves out of captivity. Moses, a man who was flagrantly and steadily abused by his subordinates. How did Moses endure? He endured as seeing him who is invisible; and by considering/envisaging the reproach of Christ, and reckoning that reproach to be of greater wealth and reward than the most opulent treasures of the world!