Imagination is a magical thing. Close your eyes, count to three, and abracadabra, you can be free from life’s restraints. In the eye of our mind, anything is possible. You can be anyone you want to be and do anything you want to do. Stories come off the page, and faraway lands are a mere thought away. With our imaginations, we can do fantastical things, softly contemplate life’s hardships, deconstruct perplexing philosophical concepts, and even create things that don’t yet exist.
The Power of Imagination
This is how great musicians, such as Mozart, Bach, and Green Day, created their musical masterpieces. It’s how Michelangelo found the image of David locked deep inside a block of marble. Imagination motivates the adventurer, directs the artist, and is the most important tool in the inventor’s workshop. However, as powerful as our mind’s eye is, there are two things it cannot see or comprehend.
These incomprehensible things exist but cannot be touched or captured. They’ve been around since time began, yet humanity has never properly imagined them. Just like the size of the ocean inhibits America’s view of France, we can only observe a small piece of these ancient pillars before our human brains give out. In the opening chapter of Genesis, these two titans of the universe are spectacularly presented to us.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth – Genesis 1:1
Before God spoke the world into creation, Nothing sat on the throne of reality. This is the first unimaginable aspect of the world. Silently, for an unknowable amount of time, Nothing ruled over what would eventually be called the universe. Then in a moment that can really only be described as both now and eventually, infinity stepped into nonexistent and began making things.
The opening chapter of Genesis has to be one of my favorite parts of the Bible. In a single page, the Biblical author presents us with some foundational and incomprehensible truths about God. Without stopping to take a breath, the chapter illustrates God’s power in a poetic and cinematic way.
“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” – Genesis 1:2
With a single word, God causes inanimate objects to leap into existence. At his command, matter, water, and something vaguely resembling the earth quietly step foot onto the universal stage. God then brings order to the chaotic formless blob of material.
Like a potter molding clay, he shapes the earth into a sphere. Then, with a sharp command, stars switch their nuclear engines onto full blast, the mountains dig their roots into the earth and storm out of the sea’s dark depths. With a song, he charts the skies and salutes the heavenly bodies as they begin their long voyages through space.
God then turns His attention to life. Using only a word and His infant wisdom, He thoughtfully designs creatures to populate the earth. He made fish for the sea, birds for the air, and animals for the land. Finally, he created humanity—beings made in his very image, whom he gave the responsibility of ruling His brand-new Temple.
It’s true that within our imaginations, our creative abilities are nearly endless. However, not even our wildest dreams can compare to the creative wonder of God’s wisdom and word.