“Imagine” by Erwin McManus

For the first time in the 10 years of Terra Nova, I am finally here! When I was on the team at Mosaic, I usually helped back at the Sunday gatherings so others on the team could be at the retreat. I am really grateful to be at the retreat this weekend! Terra Nova is a weekend to spur creativity.

Erwin McManus shared the following insights in the first session called “Imagine”:

“You can be on the edge, and you don’t have to be there alone. No one holds you back, but no one lets you go.

After years of trying to get accepted to be part of TED, Erwin continued to get rejected so he applied for TED Global in Tanzania thinking his chances of being accepted would be higher, and he was. On the way his luggage got lost, so he ended up having to wear the same clothes all 5 days with some incredibly talented and amazing people. Erwin was intimidated and alone so he looked for someone else who was all alone and struck up a conversation. She happened to be Jane Goodall, the guerilla expert. (As a result, people thought Erwin was good friends with her, so the rest of the week the other speakers ended up wanting to share a meal with him). Jane Goodall was an expert in primates other than humans.

What makes humans different?

We have ideas that affect reality. No matter how much we love our pets, our dogs will not pass along what we teach them to their children. People do.

We are more shaped by what we imagine that what we experience – what we taste, feel, touch, and see.

We can translate our ideas into stories, art, and into real life.

The conversation about Creation is not really about evolution, but it is about creativity or determinism, intentionality or accident.

If I was an accident then anything I did would have no meaning. Because I was created on purpose, I have purpose.

Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before you were born, I knew you. (You were part of my imagination). Before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah argues with God convinced that he cannot do what God imagined for him. This is the same conversation God has with each one of us.

Too often we shrink down to our lesser selves – living the life only we can imagine rather than living up to what God imagined for us.

Too often, the church seems to be opposed to creativity. Why is that? It is probably due to how people have used their imagination to do so much evil. To alleviate human suffering, people thought that the solution was to eliminate the imagination. Instead of eliminating our imagination, we need to change what informs our imagination.

Eph. 3:16-21 In other words, Paul is saying: “I don’t want to eliminate your imagination. I want you to open your mind to the imagination of God. I want you to see a world you could have never imagined alone without God. Expand your mind by connecting to the mind of Christ and His love.”

When God’s love fills us up, our imagination can see ourselves and the world differently.

As a person thinks, so are they. It all begins in our mind. If we can see ourselves the way God sees us, we can become who He created us to be.

Futurists imagine a different future. Designers make it happen. Start with your imagination through the eyes of God and then design the world we imagine.

We all stand at the crossroads where we try to look perfect but lose our souls. Instead, live your authentic story where even our flaws are part of the beauty.”

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