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Cultivating a Culture of Creativity
by Lieutenant Scott Swires

Being a Classic Disney fan, I find it an ideal setting for exploring Faith. I believe that God speaks to us through the redeemed imagination, therefore a place that holds a position for Imagination Engineers is appealing to me as a believer. What are they doing and why do they do it that way?  Once we understand what and why something is, then we get to the fun part, which is asking things like “what if.”

As Paul explains, the three greatest things are Faith, Hope, and Love (1 Corinthians 13:13). I find it interesting that the three greatest things cannot be understood in the World’s favorite methods of defining: qualitatively and quantitatively. This means Faith, Hope, and Love are not measurable using scientific methods. Many would argue they don’t exist because they cannot be observed scientifically. For many, talking about something like Faith is silly. Talking about Hope and Love are also silly and childish. I like how C.S. Lewis shared that when he grew up he, "put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

The world's standard that something does not hold a significant weight and value unless it is measurable is dangerous to the system that it represents. Then the only things that matter come from... matter. It's why atheists are desperate to prove that emotions like enjoyment and fulfillment have a physical source.  Faith, Hope, and Love are powerful because they are evidence that something else is in the room with us. (Suspiciously look left. Suspiciously look right.) A person once shared that we come to God when we start to believe there must be something more to our universe, but our deeper relationship comes from realizing that He fills it. To consider that something else is possible is the way in which we engage the unseen realm of the spirit. The imagination is the place where the material and the spiritual meet. So without accepting our imagination we limit our relationship with God and others.

Hebrews 11 says that without Faith it is impossible to please God. We have to believe that He is and He wants good things for us. This chapter is beautiful in explaining that Faith in action is the definition of creation. To create is to believe that something unseen will eventually be seen. As we create we are doing Faith. Because Faith is the substance of things hoped for and not seen. Faith is the act of going into the unseen realm and grabbing something that is there and then bringing into this realm. God created everything seen from things unseen. God created by an act of Faith in Himself. He is the example of how we are to create- by believing in His ability to do. When we believe that He is and that He wants amazing things for us the sky is not even a limit (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 3:20, Psalm 145:19).

This is how I heard it- it’s like tapping for maple syrup. You have a spile that you drive into the tree, breaking the barrier that is holding back the syrup. From that point on syrup can come out of the tree. Go up to the tap with a container, and you can get some syrup. Now, imagine a barrier between you and the unseen realm of the spirit. Imagine the presence of God full and ready to burst on the other side of the barrier. Your act of creating by Faith is driving the spile into the barrier and releasing the presence of God. Whenever anyone walks past your act of creation there is then the opportunity to experience the Presence of God. It will help to have your bucket ready, which is you. You are a vessel created to catch God’s presence and a prime place to do that is in a place that has cultivated a habit of creativity.

I think Walt Disney became skilled at this and developed it into a virtue. My wife and I have a poster of Walt Disney superimposed over Cinderella’s Castle and the construction site, a reality who would not live to see. Below it is the quote, "It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” During the opening ceremony of Walt Disney World, a man leaned to Roy and said that it was a shame that Walt hadn’t lived to see it. Roy turned and said that if Walt hadn’t seen it then they wouldn't be sitting there. Walt had seen the park long before anyone else did. Walt breached the barrier with his passion and belief in what could be and I believe that breach allows people the opportunity to encounter the presence of God. Whether it’s going to Disney, watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi, or sitting next to your kids as they play, I encourage you to find a place where creation is happening and practice being aware of God’s presence.








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