Make believe makes believers.
Imagination. A silly, harmless habit of immature kids? I don’t think so. Imagination is seeing what is not obvious. It is seeing what lies beyond the mere visually present. But what if there’s more? More than, “It is what it is?” More than the middle part of the story we’re seeing right now. What if the secular fundamentalist scolds are wrong? What if the stories are true and life is more like a fairy tale than just accidental animals having predictable chemical reactions and stupidly mistaking them for love and poetry and art and meaning and religion?
I think the stories are true. I believe we’re in one. Imagination isn’t a diversion, it’s the way. Fostering imagination isn’t an innocent frivolity, it’s boot camp. It’s preparation for war. The war that matters more than any other: the war for our hearts. It’s cosmic politics. The enemy employs the Imagination. But he cannot invent, only pervert. Satan bends what God intends. That’s his only play.
The Imagination, like the Intellect, is a capacity that will serve any master. So Imagination must be looked after, and brought under the lordship of Christ, or it will, like all our other capacities, serve other masters. Like the self. Or worse. If Imagination is not doxological it will be diabolical.
So play is serious work. Fostering holy imagination is crucial. Kingdom anticipation is the call of every believer.
Make believe prepares the way.