—Fancies of the heart become our castles in the air
People’s lives take on many forms, depending on what a person has either embraced or been born into. Hence you find people with relatively contented, comfortable lives on one end of the spectrum and those who struggle, are discontented, or live in want on the other, and all the variants in between.
Every one of us experiences and lives a certain reality, and if you extrapolate this on a world level, there are all kinds of coexistent realities. Some have an assumed reality, some have a pretended reality, some have a subjective reality; many simply deny reality for an accepted substitute that looks like the real thing; few, relatively speaking, experience what they would consider genuine life-giving reality. The question we need to ask ourselves is ‘Is ours reality or only our version of reality?” for the two are not necessarily synonymous.
But I’m not so much talking about the physical aspects of our lives; meaning the quantity (wealth, education, social status, etc) but more the spiritual aspects, the quality; our state of heart, mind, spirit and being. For we must remember that our circumstance are not our life; our life is what we do in, with, and of those circumstances.
With most people there is a certain amount of, if not a predominance of, unreality to their lives that is in fact usurping all hope and chance of accepting what actually is. There is this reality of unreality that exists but it need not. It is a state that we choose to accept most often because we are confused or mistaken in some manner.
The Bible simply declares the totality of reality; what was, what is, and what is to come. And we find through its message that reality is in fact a living Being, God the Creator, who has called all into existence. And not only that but He has revealed how to choose reality, the life He has both created and given
Most people are familiar with the beginning of reality as God describes it:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
But very early on in that story we find a crisis of reality occurs that distorts life as God originally intended from that point on. This is revealed in the following passage;
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth… God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:1,5)
Now, imagination by definition is the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. God simply says it is a part of His divine nature that He has imparted to us to help us picture and perceive both His unseen Being as well as the unseen aspects of His creation. And it is precisely in the imagination that this crisis of reality originally occurred and continues to occur to the present day.
Imagination, as a gift, was never intended as a means to distort, pervert, deny, or usurp reality. And, yet, we very often fancy* things in heart and mind which we then proceed to erect what amount to castles-in-the-air based on those fancies and then wonder why there’s no substance, no abiding reality to our lives. We are caught up in the reality of our own unreality, this great usurper from which we need deliverance.
*Fancy when used as an intransitive verb suggests an imagining often unrestrained by reality but spurred more by desires.
“Imagination is a poor root, but a worthy blossom, and in a [gentle, compassionate] nature its flowers cannot fail to be lovely. For no outcome of a man’s nature is so like himself as his imaginations, except it be his fancies, indeed. Perhaps his imaginations show what he is meant to be, his fancies what he is making of himself.”—George MacDonald; Sir Gibbie