Here is a conversation that took place between a man named Mack and Jesus, as he was preparing to walk on water with Jesus. It it taken from a book that I have just completed reading…“The Shack”. The reason I am posting this is because the concept of this has evaded me until now, it has changed my way of thinking and I believe it is worth sharing. Enjoy….
“Will my feet get wet?” queried Mack.
“Of course, water is still wet.”
Again Mack looked down at the water and back at Jesus. “Then why is this so hard for me?”
“Tell me what you are afraid of, Mack.”
“Well, let me see. What am I afraid of?” began Mack. “Well, I am afraid of looking like an idiot. I am afraid that you are making fun of me and that I will sink like a rock. I imagine that-”
“Exactly,” Jesus interrupted. “You imagine. Such a powerful ability, the imagination! That power alone makes you so like us. But without wisdom, imagination is a cruel taskmaster. If I may prove my case, do you think humans were designed to live in the present, the past or the future?”
“Well,” said Mack, hesitating, “I think the most obvious answer is that we were designed to live in the present. Is that wrong?”
Jesus chuckled. “Relax, Mack; this is not a test, it’s a conversation. You are exactly correct, by the way. But now tell me, where do you spend most of your time in your mind, in your imagination, in the present, the past or in the future?”
Mack thought for a moment before answering. “I suppose I would have to say that I spend very little time in the present. For me, I spend a big piece in the past, but most of the rest of the time, I am trying to figure out the future.”
“Not unlike most people. When I dwell with you, I do so in the present-I live in the present. Not the past, although much can be remembered and learned by looking back, but only for a visit, not an extended stay. And for sure, I do not dwell in the future you visualize or imagine. Mack, do you realize that your imagination of the future, which is almost always dictated by fear of some kind, rarely, if ever, pictures me there with you?”
Again, Mack stopped and though. It was true. He spent alot of time fretting and worrying about the future, and in his imaginations it was usually pretty gloomy and depressing, if not outright horrible. And Jesus was also correct in saying that in Mack’s imaginations of the future, God was always absent.
“Why do I do that?” asked Mack.
“It is your desperate attempt to get some control over something you can’t. It is impossible for you to take power over the future because it isn’t even real, nor will it ever be real. You try and play God, imagining the evil that you fear becoming reality, and then you try and make plans and contingencies to avoid what you fear.”
As I read this, I realized that in no time that I have ever “pictured” tomorrow, whether good or bad, have I ever pictured it accurately. And I think the best advice I can take it to always remember when I am imagining…am I doing it together with Holy Spirit and do I see God there with me? Because if He is, regardless of whether what I picture becomes reality or not or even plays out exactly the way I think it should, that is one thing that will never change, His presence, in the present! And if He isn’t in my imaginations…they are purely just fiction…fairy tales and horror stories.
If you would like to learn more about the book, “The Shack”, go to http://www.theshackbook.com.