Sunday, August 27, 2006

Imagination Communities

I have been thinking about how terribly difficult it seems for so many people to change...particularly adults who are set in certain known and unknown rhythms. If we consider changing for the better a good direction, why is it so difficult?

I am reminded of how the core of Jesus' teaching was a simple (or not-so) call to move in a different direction, by a different beat, by a different narrative...change the soundtrack, the theme, the plot, the rhythm. Re-imagine the way the world works.

You have heard it said ... but I tell you.

But re-imagining is very hard work...particularly when we are steeped in alternate narratives/imaginations. We are constantly yielding our own imagination to lean on others' hunches/imaginations/dreams/thoughts/ideas. And this is, of course, normal...we are not shaped to live life or think thoughts on our own.

And this is, I am finding more and more, so very important. You see, the radical call to re-imagine the world in which we live (not just dreaming about Heaven, mind you) cannot be done on one's own...on my own...on your own. I cannot re-imagine everything around to raise our child, how to birth our child, how to use my money and other resources (like time, talents, etc.), how to interact with others not like me, etcetera and onward.

I simply cannot re-imagine everything. Nor am I meant to.

We need imagination communities...people around us who can help us imagine and re-imagine over and over, time and time again. Which is a huge part of why we moved to San Francisco...and why we took our trip this last year. In order to sustain the call to "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" we must be in real relationships with others who are re-imagining the world and it's workings...and San Francisco just seemed a place for us to be surrounded by those folks.

Don't get me wrong, there are re-imagineers all across the world we now know, but California was kind of like home and San Francisco a good place to land.

If we mustn't give up meeting together to discuss this other world that is possible, then we ought not do it to repeat mindless clichés...rather we must use our limited time to help each other re-imagine more and more deeply what our Creator's world could be should we choose to embrace our human calling, to love Creator and Creation.

If we are to change, let us not change on our own (if we even could). Let's open ourselves up to allow others to change us, believing that this God in us (Emmanuel) can teach us through each other as we love each other.

I love having friends who know more than me, who are further along than me, who have re-imagined certain things that I can rest on as I press on in the dark. Cheers to a Kingdom that cannot be forged by individuals alone.


Josh said...

well i will attempt to no longer lurk in the dark.

these are very nice thoughts. i've been thinking more and more about this idea of being freed up to move and go as the spirit breathes. and how everything about these alternative narratives, that are at times subtle and at times deafening, attempt to lure me away from the way of jesus.

to live in isolation in the suburbs. to brandish weapons at my enemies. to buy more and more stuff. to accessorize everything. to put my money in a pension and with what is left buy a bigger house. it's all very disorienting when cast against the way of jesus. it undermines everything. and the only way i've been able to sift and sort through it is in the midst of community.

and to that i will drink.

Craig Bob said...

"we must use our limited time to help each other re-imagine more and more deeply what our Creator's world could be"

That's a really beautiful way to view community. As you and I both know, it's way too easy to spend time deconstructing the cliche-ridden, institutionalized community. Your words are a great example of how to shift our weight toward reconstruction.