We in the film industry can find ourselves increasingly drawn into the world of the imagination. As exciting as creating imaginary world's can seem, it's best to regularly leave the excitement behind in favor for the real world.
We strengthen our stories by living in the real world. Have you ever watched a movie or read a book only to encounter plot points which seemed unauthentic? We all do it. We get blinded by the story we are making and tell handicapped stories. However, some people keep a good grasp on reality, and their stories carry the added weight of experience.
We strengthen our families by living in the real world. The elements of strong families have not changed with this influx of media. Wise Christian families only consume a little media, opting to spend their family bonding time in work, service, worship, reading aloud, or pleasant conversation. To consume media, even Christian media, may be a shared experience, but it does not naturally lead to a healthy family culture. Someday we may find our children leaving us for a modern pied piper, having grown up listening to his song during our watch. Our families are healthiest when we leave the contrived world behind and embrace the real world.
We understand God better through His real creation than through our own. The mad man does not have a problem with his imagination; he has a problem with his perception of reality. In similar ways, we can believe lies about God, lies backed by some powerful mental imagery. However, the created world offers a check on those ideas, and in that check we can recognize the evidence of a God of order, meaning, and power. The wise will also delve into the truth contained in His scripture to understand God more specifically.
Sometimes inventing worlds in our heads allows us a limited amount of insight into this real world. G. K. Chesterton once wrote, "All my mental doors open outwards into a world that I have not made." While we live in a made world, every time that we imagine something we testify that we could not make a world this complex, both stable and surprising. Thankfully, as interesting as our shallow imaginations are, we cannot stay there. Such a life is unsustainable. The real world will eventually break in, rudely awakening us from our dreams.
And when it does, may we recognize the glory around us and leave our imaginations for the greater role we play in the real story of life.
Digging deeper: Colossians 2:8, II Corinthians 10:5, I Thessalonians 4:11