from the desk of…

by Terry Griffin, Lt. Colonel – 

At this time of year two teams of territorial officers conduct reviews of each division and command in the territory. It is an opportunity to celebrate the victories, progress and challenges evident in the corps, ARCs, and social service ministries all around this great Western Territory.

While I was in one of the divisions, an officer from the land of “proper English” was excitedly sharing the good things happening in the youth programs, and talked about the need for IMAGINITIVITY. He then asked if this was a proper word, and we all agreed that if it wasn’t, it should be. It is in the category of SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS, which is a wonderful word from Mary Poppins. Both words have a quality that makes us believe the world is a wonderful place and can be made better with imagination (imaginitivity) and work.

We who are intimately involved with the work of our beloved Salvation Army have lots of imaginitivity. I suspect that most of us have discussions about how much better the Army could or would be if….We are using our imaginations when we do this. The question that gives us difficulty is, “How do we move from imagination to reality?” When we ask that question, it becomes personal, for what we then must ask is, “What commitment of my time and resources must I make, to move from ‘what is’ to ‘what could be?’”

At a recent youth councils in Hawaii, Fulton Hawk gave a challenging message. He showed a picture of a cemetery and labeled it “Lost Potential.” Look in every cemetery at the number of headstones representing lives that once were filled with imagination and dreams. Some surely accomplished their dreams and potential. Others only imagined a better life or world over coffee, but weren’t willing or capable of making the commitment to move from “what is” to “what could be.”

1 Peter 2:9 states that each Christian is responsible for “what is” and “what could be.” “For you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (NKJV).

Peter reminds us that Christ saves us. “(He) called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” We are “a royal priesthood…His own special people…”, and we have important work to accomplish, “…that you may proclaim the praises of Him…” Literally, we are his hands, feet and voice on earth. If not us, who?

It is a wonderful world that God imagined and created. Unfortunately, because too many of his creation decided to build better worlds for themselves, building the kingdom of God and giving selflessly to his service is not a
priority for many. It’s a lot easier to discuss over coffee what could or would be if…
I believe that when each of us commits to turning our imaginitivity into actionivity and commitmentivity, we can make a positive impact on our world. The evil one would prefer that we simply discuss our dreams, rather than live out the potential God has given us. When we fail to commit, in the end, we too will have headstones that say, “Lost Potential.”

I can’t leave it at that, though, because Easter reminds us that God is all about life, resurrection, hope, and possibility. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a much better alternative for me and for our Salvation Army. I can only imagine what God can accomplish when we each do our part. The possibilities are endless and exciting to dream about! Would you like to join me for coffee to discuss the “what ifs?” Or would you prefer to make dreams come true where you are?

Imaginitivity coupled with commitment and action. Sounds like a recipe for success!

“The thief does not come except to steal, kill and destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

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