With thanks to my colleague Revd David Newton for this week’s thought.
I was out running through the snow earlier this week and found myself reminiscing about 3 months I had in a Canadian Winter some years ago. Every day we’d go out running across through the snow, usually under glorious sunshine. It was quite wonderful being transported – in my mind – to this other place. Amongst the exposed fields, being whipped by wind, I then started to imagine what it might be like to be on K2 right now. 10 Nepalese climbers made history last Saturday when then made the first ever Winter Ascent. Other groups are still trying to summit; they face 100mph winds, temperatures of -50C, a lack of oxygen, and ‘ice blocks as big as houses’ as one Nepalese climber put it.
Our imaginations are a wonderful gift, allowing us to explore foreign fields that take us way beyond our current confinement. We can recreate half worn memories; we can image ourselves someplace else; we can dream up untold futures.
There has always been a thread of thinking that connects our imagination, and so also our creativity, with the elusive idea that we are made in the image of God. The only reason that there is a universe at all is because the Love that lies behind it can imagine something other that itself. We too have the wonderful gift of imagining things that are not there: it is the gift that lies behind all inventions, it is the gift that lies behind vaccines and treatments, and it is the gift that allows us to build a better future.
Right now, it is also the gift that enables us travel beyond our four walls. Whether through books or music or art, through drawing or writing, through reminiscing of times gone by, or thinking of a renewed future, the gift of imagination is a resource upon which we can all draw through these times.