Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Vivid Imagination

Have you ever listened to a young child of three or five years narrate a story to accompany a series of drawings they have created?  I am still amazed at the creativity and imagination such young kids possess.  I heard three stories today, and each one was very original in its own way.  I could detect throughout the tales, however, the influence of fairy tales and stories that the children have heard in their short lives.  Characters who transform into various people; girls named after famous story people; happily ever after endings.  All of these combine within the young mind to create a tale of enchanting beauty and simplicity.  And one where the attentive listener can share precious moments with a child who is excited to create and express the workings of their own imagination.

Imagination is a key ingredient in our aspirations for something higher.  Without it, life becomes drab and sometimes unbearable.  In moments of great despair and despondency, a keen imagination can create a silver lining and golden rope to pull us out of our doldrums.  As we grow older, imagination and faith begin to intertwine.  There is so much in our world that seems impossible or unattainable.  So much requires simple faith in God's higher plan and goodness.  Sometimes such a childlike belief is too hard to manage alone in a world that seems so divided and dark.  Combining trust in God with the imaginings of the better things to come often serves as an antidote to worldly despair.  

Because the imagination is so significant in life, developing it within your children is an incredibly important task.  Children are very susceptible to their surroundings and experiences.  Giving your child quality stories and other means of activity help cultivate an inquisitive and intelligent mind whereas simply turning on the sub-par Saturday cartoons has much less effect, and certainly not a great one at that.  As your children grow, tell them the stories that matter.  Show them the lives of the saints.  Read them the fairy tales of good and evil.  Share with them the tales of bravery and friendship.  Above all, feed their hunger for something of intrinsic value.  The love of truth and virtue grows with the experience and understanding of these great gifts.  

Encourage your children to be creative.  Give them your full attention when they ask to share their latest scribbled story with you.  Support them in worthwhile endeavors of artistic attempts.  You never know what your children will be when they grow up.  The only thing that is certain is that their childhood will undoubtedly influence their adult years.  If you raise your children to be lovers of wisdom and seekers of truth, they will be several steps ahead of the rest of the world.  A keen imagination helps them to see what others cannot and to accept the seemingly unbelievable in the glorious world about us.  Above all, imagination provides a stepping stone to knowledge of the rarities of life and the truth of God's love.

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