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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Imagination: Anne towards God



Yesterday I was talking about Sarah Clarkson's book Read for the Heart (click on title to read "review"). One of the points she makes in this book ties directly into the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge and it relates to imagination.

The characters that Montgomery created are full of imagination. Anne is especially colorful in this way and, according to Clarkson, that would be one of the reasons she feels like such a complete character. Clarkson argues that having an imagination is a vital part of, not just reading, but our entire life experience. She writes:

"In the past few years I have come to the conclusion that those hours of imagination gave me far more than just good memories. As I have begun writing my first books and done just a bit of speaking, numerous people have asked me what gave me the ability to dream, what drove my desires and shaped my goals.

The answer is simple: God, family and . . . imagination.

Imagination is too often described as a "childish" thing - attributed only to the young, the very creative, or the "artsy" and impractical. But in reality, imagination is a transformative force that is common to all people who dream deeply enough to accomplish something of worth with their lives. At its core, imagination is the ability to envision the future we desire, the force enabling us to pursue a dream whose reality is radically different from the present. We cannot set out on a road of great hopes and determination if we have no concept of what it is we are journeying toward. Imagination drives inspired action." (page 147-148)

I yell out a hearty AMEN to that statement!

These three words belong together:

Imagine. Dream. Do.

They do not work alone. They function best together. Without even a smidgen of imagination, one is not going to be able to develop a dream. Without dreams, what would we ever do? Human beings are created with an inner drive to be creative and to live big lives. Everyone of us has a dream. Some die and that's quite sad. Some can be fostered along and nurtured with books. Why books? Because each and every book has at its core a basic idea and worldview that it wants to communicate to you. Finding the best books with the best ideas to think and talk about can provide your child with big hopes and plans for the future so that they are not content with the status quo but want to go out and "do big things." I think it is vitally important that we read to our children from birth on up, to grow in them a love of reading AND to build within them an encouragement to imagine and to dream.

One of my top ten reasons for loving Anne of Green Gables is that she is imaginative. She also manages to hang on to the magic of imagination throughout her whole life. True, it is tempered to a degree as she grows older, but frequently her imagination launches her into actions which effect her life for the good - because she is a doer. And not many are.

I appreciated the fact that Clarkson impresses upon us the inner need we all have to imagine and dream. Her thoughts rather sum up my own, especially as it relates to my love of Anne. When I read Anne, I start to believe that anything is possible. There are so many truths (as well as untruths) bound up in this book series that cause me to think deeply and desire more out of my own life. I love where Anne takes me and I love who I am when I'm with her. She's a positive literary force and it is people like her who I want to fill my house up with. I don't want to fill my bookshelves with people who can only "harrumph" their way through life, are happy to exist in depressing conditions, who accept the status quo and never dream above it and who do not deeply feel truths. Anne is one of my best friends because she presents a world view that says, "All things are possible." I'll tack on the following scripture for my complete thought:

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
My thoughts are small. I need books to expand them. I need characters to thrill me and push me towards something greater than myself. Reading that pushes me to believe God can do anything is the best that there is. I'm thrilled with it and I want to continue to seek such books out and to provide them for my children so that they too can understand that with God, all things truly are possible.

4 comments:

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Without imagination life would be very dull! My 3 year old daughter has hit the imaginative stage in the last few months. It is a delight to watch and participate in.

Barbara H. said...

I'm glad God gave us imaginations!

Amy said...

Great thoughts, Carrie. I can't add anything but a hearty "amen"!

Judylynn said...

I agree that imagination is one of the best things we possess.

Interesting that you would write about dreams today. Yesterday I wrote on my blog about a dream I have. And, because of a conversation I had with my husband last night, it looks like I may be able to fulfill part of that dream!

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