Monday, March 26, 2007

Don't Have It? Make It!

At 13, I'd carry my mom's Good Housekeeping magazines into my bedroom, flip through the pages of highly-decorated, highly-priced living rooms, and then start rearranging my furniture. If a page showed a couch beneath a window, I'd shove my bed beneath my own window. If there was a bear skin rug at an angle in front of the couch, I'd place my own little rag rug in front of my bed and my rickety desk chair would go beside my door where the posh, gold tufted chair stood in the magazine room. And then I'd step back--and in my imagination--my bedroom now resembled those sumptuous rooms from the magazines.

I had one awesome imagination back then.

I'm thinking you have to cling to your imagination or else it seeps away by drops as you age. Because all these years since, I've heard tons of people put-off until tomorrow what they could have had or experienced today.

People by the carload have told me: "Someday, when we can afford it, we're going to have a nice house. This one we live in now is a dump and isn't worth fixing-up."


"They just don't play great music on the radio like they used to... and clothes today aren't as nice as they were when I was growing-up... and women don't wear aprons anymore... and house architecture isn't what it once was...and well, people just aren't what they used to be, either. The good old days are gone."

My whole life, ever since those junior high, rearranging-my-room-and-finding-it-good days, I've tried to keep from rolling my eyes and shaking my head (or shaking other people) when I hear others speaking like that.

Why? Because nearly always--with an imagination--you can create or find or discover or buy what you're missing or wanting or needing.

You can paint a room in a whole different color (or barter the job), rearrange your furniture in a whole other way and have what feels like a whole new space by next weekend.

You can order the music you love on cd's or listen to it on those new-fangled radio stations where they literally have a setting for everybody. If you think you can't afford satellite radio or tv (for all those old movies and tv series you miss, too), perhaps you can cut back in other areas which aren't nearly as pleasing to you... or borrow cd's and videos/dvd's from your town library or ask for subscriptions for your birthday or Christmas or trade music and dvd's with friends...

You can discover clothes you remember from days gone by in thrift shops or Ebay or put together old-fashioned styles from today's new clothes. If no one else is wearing aprons, wear them anyway--and look online for others who are wearing them, too (they're out there. I've seen them.)

If you like old houses, learn where they are in your area. You can walk or drive past them or even walk through them if tours are given or if estate sales are held in them. If you can't find friends, look in some new places--perhaps join some new clubs or classes or email groups where topics which interest you are pursued.

If all the bad news of today is making you a basket case, start searching for some good news, instead. It's out there--you just have to search a bit harder to find it.

If your kids have all moved away and left you without grandkids, become a Big Sister or Brother or befriend a neighborhood child. If you can't afford to take classes, do research at your town library or online... If can't afford a gym membership, start exercising in your home... If you want to become a writer, start writing or start taking pictures if you want to become a photographer...

Well, don't get me started.

We are not helpless. Usually what we are is overwhelmed by our paralyzing, it-must-be-done-one-certain-way thoughts. If God lives inside us, always there is something we can change because always He has a better way of doing and seeing and being. What an imagination He has! And what matters to me is that I listen, everyday, for the new, creative thing He has in mind for me to try or do or imagine.

Proverbs 29:18... "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."
Chinese Proverb

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