This past week we got to celebrate in a big way, a family member’s dream come true after 18 years of hoping... even as I fought to embark on a new project and had to fight off memories of failed projects. I literally had to to fight to imagine the possibilities, or succumb to self sabotage...
In the midst of that, a friend sent me a picture of her "forest bathing," and among similar retorts, and expeditions, I was excited to see the encouragement building for reclaiming the benefits of the wild outdoors. If you missed my last post on "Forest Bathing?" find it here.
But, a question for your present and future -
So my husband had a waking thought earlier this week. It was quite succinct for me as I embarked on a brand new Forest (School) Cycle with children. And the project wasn't without it's challenges. Anyway, this waking thought came in the form of a question:
"How can you grab a hold of the future if you're still holding on to the past?"
I often remind us that imagination is the bedrock of hope. It is where hope is perceived (it must be seen) and then conceived (actualized). This is why we must actively reclaim imagination if we are to awaken hope. Just put a pin on that for a moment.
Imagination over memories -
Anything in the fallen world is subject to decline. Especially when facing active resistance. You may already know that even when pictures are constantly handed to us with excessive "screen" watching time, our imagination and creativity work less.
It's no wonder that we sometimes struggle to be as full of wonder and creativity as little children (now the effect of screen time on them is a whole different discussion!)
In the same way, it’s easier to rehash pictures in your mind based on memories since you’ve already been there, rather than use your active creative imagination which is a gift you were created and born with - as in the image of God. Memories are still great, of course, if you're building on good memories. However when it's time to forge ahead or embark on something new; it's much easier to revisit the past, good or bad; rather than simply dare to enter into something new.
As you might know I draw life and inspiration from scripture, and in this season I’ve been reminded repeatedly of a life verse of mine - Isaiah 43:18-19 MSG "Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands."
Back to the invitation in the form of a question -
Those verses are pretty succinct and the perfect solution to the waking question. (Answers in the form of a question are the best!) "Don't you see it?" "There it is!"
As I celebrated my relative's holding on to hope... and as I embark on more projects... I think it’s halting that in that verse, there’s an invitation in the form of a question. So subtle you might miss the principle. Can you not see/perceive it? Whatever it is, it might be easy or excruciating, but this is still a principle to be mastered. You need to halt the old pictures and "see the new".
Hope is embedded in imagination. You have to armor up/fight to defend your imagination head quarters (your mind) to enjoy an uplifted state; and to forge ahead in being faithful to your call whether it’s in areas of your health, relationships, parenting, business, ministry, work, or schooling.
Here’s my challenge -
See it. For this to happen, you'll have to discipline yourself first to catch your thoughts, and see if they line up with hope. Leave a comment below, and also share what you think or your commitment to renew your mind with a loved one for encouragement and accountability.
'Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this, and planning our forest escapade soon!
Get your hopes up,
Your uplifted, purposeful, resilient and resourceful state is everything, and I am obsessed with helping you learn how to sustain and flourish in it.
Tune in to my Think Again & Be Podcast to get something incredible for your heart. The latest episode, "Changing the Way WE Think & Speak About Mental Health, with Mercy Lokulutu, Psychiatric NP" has been helping set people free!