I love that word. Imagine. Image. Create. Blend. Refine. Another image. Interleave images. Sound. Light. Shade. Colour. Speed. Time. Storyline. Edit. Re-edit. Add music. Add silence. Reach conclusion. Play film. Replay film. Imagine. Imagination. Personal film factory. Rework the past. Invent the future. Imagination is a big as … imagine!!
I did that this morning. His and mine “intentional time” with The Word, a cuppa, and a computer screen. Recently we tend to start with a detail. A fragment of a verse. Then we BibleGateway to the chapter. And – like any great conversation between friends that starts at point (a) and ends at point (ScoobyDoo 2.7685) and neither know how – that is how we to chat recently.
I saw the phrase “intentional time” used by another with regard to “family togetherness and activity” – seemed to me sort of a sad phrase. A sort of “I will devote my attention to you (in a very disconnected intentional) kind of way.” Or is that just me and how I see things?
Anyhow – we began with a fragment of Matthew 17. And then wandered through the chapter. And He drew me to this bit, and then that, and the another. Each being pertinent, each being new. And I was wondering as we were wandering – is this today’s lesson, or is that? A sort of intentional time of relationship. And intentional learning. An intentional time from which something intentional must come. Or else what is the intention behind this intention? I have given you my time Lord, what return on that investment are you giving me kind of intention.
Never intentional on the surface. Just an intention I found sliding in uninvited and unnoticed this morning. What do I learn from you dear father? What are you showing me? And looking at that small discovery I found I do that a lot. When He and I walk. I observe and He explains. I listen and He talks. Not a bad thing you might say. He is the Boss! He is God Almighty. I am unworthy. It is my role to listen and learn. His to teach.
And I wonder. Where is the relationship in that? Am I looking into His eyes and breathing the same breath as He – or am I standing at a small distance waiting to be told? The dutiful child – or the loving child? Here because I want – or here because I should? Intentionally fulfilling an obligation, or unintentionally sparking off each other, bouncing off each other, enjoying each other?
Imagine the difference. A subtle and small colour-wash. Changing something small but so important to the whole film. My “special effect” imposed (intentionally).
Because that word “imagine” He breathed as we walked through chapter 17:
Imagine being so connected to “everything” – to God, to my friends, to church (in the people sense), to others’ conversations, to healing, to need, to want, to desires, to faith, to being “plugged-in” without any barbed-wire sliver of strand, being so always pulling God to me that we really are One. Connected without any sliver of disconnect.
Imagine Jesus. Imagine being with Jesus in chapter 17. Imagine really being there. Really breathing the same breath as Jesus. Really seeing the frown lines, the smooth forehead of relaxation, the quizzical eye, the curious tone, the affectionate touch. His question. Our pause. Time for me to ponder. My answer. His breath breathing out. His pause. His answer. Real conversation. Words aloud. Breathing aloud. Then imagine the backtrack of real. The sounds of the dusty people around. The smells of the hot burned earth. Of cooking. Of animals. Of each other. So connected. So real.
Did Peter get up every morning and intentionally decide. Wondering what “thing”, what return on his time, what development in his understanding, how his knowledge should grow, how his me me me was getting on, how his me me me was enough or not …
I imagined being so connected – as connected as Jesus is – that I was not even “me me me” at all. And discovered that when I am so “connected” … there is no “me me me” … nothing is intentional and everything is intentional … nothing is too much – and everything is enough … nothing is “precise” – at least not in the terms we always use. I found that all those words we use to define size … shape … form … time ….? Their value is so much less. There is so little need for precision of the kind we know.
Because He lifted the edges of my small reel of imagined film. He showed me “real” not imagined. He showed me that when I am so connected … then “everything” is precise … “everything” is the right time … “everything” has the perfect shape, just right and so perfect for that moment. Everything is connected and I am connected to everything. And a sigh – a growing realisation – slid in. Unnoticed at first … and then the realisation: when I am so connected as God Soft Hands Jesus –
I cannot hate. I cannot judge. I cannot reject. I just “can not”.
I am Love. I am Time. I am Space. I live in you. You live in me. We all live in each other. We are that bucket of dirt. Every atom. Every mote. Each atomic “stuff”. Each perfect for this moment.
(and as I typed those last few paragraphs, I heard His wonderful chuckle, felt His warm breath on the back of neck … “How intentional was that conclusion, young Paul?”)
Wow!! I want to be that connected …
”Why ‘want’ young Paul? You already are. You can be always. Like the small taster we just shared. You pull Me. We are One. Always. If you allow … always it is of ‘if you allow’ …”
Now just … imagine that!
”There you go again: always imagining it is beyond reach, always pulling back, always putting that strand of doubt between us. Always relying on “me” to figure Me out.
“I cannot hate. I cannot judge. I cannot reject. I just can not. I am Love. I am Time. I am Space. I live in you. You live in me. We all live in each other. We are all that bucket of dirt. Each perfect for this moment.”