Friday, April 10, 2009

He is at the Movies

I have been mentoring a young man for the past three years. I have never known a person with a greater capacity to disappear into his mind for weeks on end. It is amazing to watch him come and go.

One minute he is in touch with reality and he is learning to abide and walk in the light. Suddenly, something happens and he literally disappears into a world of imagination. When he emerges from this inner world of fiction, he seeks me out and we work while he is still among the visible.

I am certain God has gifted this young man with an imagination that is beyond the norm. He can create in his mind a realm that could produce great novels or movies. Even so, he suffers with this imagination because one cannot live from fiction and effectively deliver God's love. He knows this.

He said to me with true sorrow. "I didn't even give my dog a bath for the past month! I was so lost in mind that i forgot. When i finally realized I had been gone, I gave the dog some attention."

When he said this, I said "It is time for you to come out of the movie theater. People need you and God misses you while you are in there."

It was as if a light went on. He could see for the first time that he was disappearing into his mind like people go to the movies for distraction from reality. What he had not realized is that while we sit in the movie theater of our mind and imagination, love is often put on hold. If love is on hold for too long, the fleas can kill the dog.

Jesus is the truth. He is the light in which the fiction we build our lives upon is challenged and destroyed.

I remember reading about missionaries going overseas in the 1800's. The debate back then was about whether a good Christian missionary should be reading novels. When I was a teen, the debate was about T.V. and movies. Today it is about the internet, video games and the cell phone. The real issue in any generation is how long do you disappear from reality and leave love on hold?

I am a dedicated reader and I love a great film. I have found, however, that my rule for reading and watching must be delivering love.
If my imagination gets in the way of delivering love, I need to drop the book and leave the movie. God misses me and so does someone else.

How much of your life is immersed in fiction? Bring every thought to Christ to be sure what is and is not fiction. I am not against imagination. I am against letting others suffer while I disappear.

Pray for my young friend that his imagination will be God's tool and not an escape. He is a wonderfully gifted young man.

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