In the process of praying for Imagination and Innovation, I came face to face with what it means to ask for Imagination and Innovation. On the Internet super-highway of information, it could certainly mean almost anything. Historically, we are seeing the Balkanization of the West along the axis of the Internet. You can find what you want to believe in the potluck of spirituality, mash it together, and virtually connect with like minded people. In the first century, this was called Gnosticism and the only difference was that information came at the speed of a horse as opposed to the speed of light.
Define the Problem
Most days, I blithely toss out a prayer, asking that God give me, my family, my friends, my church imagination and innovation framed in Revelation. God’s revealed word. Cool Beans but In the past several weeks, I had to seriously ask the next question, ‘What does that mean?’ Watching several friends walk the edge of the cliffs of disaster, struggling with deep issues, shook our hearts and brought my wife and I to deep sadness… Mourning… and to our knees asking God to help us understand. Add my busy travel to customer site in Texas several times a month and an exciting but very challenging customer… Think of it as Busyness on steroids hitting the brick wall of complacency.
Small Gentle Voice
It’s been very calming to sit in our living room across the Thanksgiving break with my wife, reading the daily passages in Prayer, Bible, Journal. In the quiet, we try to hear the small, gentle voice. I’ve been seriously asking our Lord about Imagination and Innovation. I know. I keep using those terms, but they are important. The first Prime Minister of Israel, Ben Gurion, said, “All the experts are experts on what was. There are no experts on what will be. To become an expert on the future, you must replace vision with experience.” Good words. In the quiet of a great Thanksgiving break, the hurly burly of a house full of guests, then back to the quiet, we kept seeking answers that defined Imagination and Innovation… Especially to understand the things about our friends for which we mourned.
This morning, the answer came gently in the pre-Christmas decorating calm of our living room. My wife pointed me at Luke 1: 51 – He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. I believe this verse from Mary’s Magnificat is prophetic. We see it on national scale as nations swerve into disaster when they proudly look to themselves and their imaginations. We also see it in individuals diving deeply into deceptions that bring catastrophic heartache and sin into their lives. They are proudly looking to their own hearts for imagination.
Right after reading Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 51, Jan and I read Psalm 25, today’s PBJ passage. It hit me like a mental spot light as I felt that voice in my head opening up this passage. In Psalm 25, the writer uses two different Hebrew names for our creator. One is Elohim (God) the power word, and the other is Jehovah (LORD) the love word. ‘Scattering the proud in the imagination of their hearts’ is what happens to people who are sovereign over themselves. They self justify, often in a self righteous manner. On the other hand, people seeking Imagination and Innovation from God move beyond human limitations and frailties, placing their hearts and minds between Power and Love. Elohim and Jehovah.
For me, the question is “How do we know what we know?” In answering that question, I continue to be amazed to discover new things in a document that is two thousand years old, straddles 4,000 years, has 66 books written by 40+ authors… And has passages that demonstrably were written before the events they predicted. In other words, the Bible comes to us from beyond space time. For the present, and mourning our friends, It is calming to know that the Bible is a love story, tells of the greatest betrayals, the sweep of battles, the pride of man, the humbling of spirits… And frames a vast imagination, not limited by space time, that resides in hearts and minds in power and love.
But if we ignore that framework, we will be scattered in the disaster of unframed imagination in our hearts.
Imagination is frightening. My company is an amazing place and one of the scariest things they ask us to do is dream, have courage, take risks… in order to engage customers in disruptive thinking to digitally transform them. Imagination and innovation requires risking a departure from the familiar. Doing that at the velocity of information can produce fear along with as much fake news as it does news. In my heart and mind, I seek the framework of God’s Revelation so that my exit points off the velocity of information super highway into execution and decision making is anchored to Unshakable Truth. You see, I reach for Imagination and Innovation framed in Revelation to be like the sons of Issachar, discerning the times, in order to protect the innocent, defend the defenseless, and rescue the poor from wickedness… To place my heart and mind… leading my family and friends… to that special place between Power and Love. Elohim and Jehovah.
Reading Start-Up Nation as the day moves to a close.