Good Morning Class of 2016:
It is my honor and pleasure to speak before you, to the people who taught you and to the people who love you on this special day.
What makes this day truly special is the great part that imagination played in making this day happen:
– The imagination of the faculty understanding as Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
– The imagination of your parents who dreamed long and hard about this day, keeping these words of Langston Hughes ever so close when he wrote, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly.”
– Your imagination! Your imagination held firm that this day would happen regardless of the setbacks, regardless of the challenges, regardless of all the bad pizza you ate. Your imagination that this day would take place never wavered. For as Trisha Yearwood said, “What’s meant to be will always find a way.”
Yes, this day was built on imagination. Days like today are special, for when imagination is mixed with dreams, talent and hard work – special things happen!
Imagination is all around us because we serve a God of Imagination. Looking at Genesis Chapter One, we can see God’s imagination, dreams, talent and hard work on display.
In six days this is how God used imagination:
– Day One – God imagined the heavens and the earth, and they were created
– Day Two – God imagined the sky, and it was created
– Day Three – God imagined water, dry land and vegetation, and they were created
– Day Four – God imagined stars and heavenly bodies, and they were created
– Day Five – God imagined all the life that lives in the water, and it was created
– Day Six – God imagined and created all the creatures that lived on the dry land. His greatest imagination brought forth a man created in His own image.
It is in that image that God has given us imagination.
Therefore, the question for you the members of the Class of 2016 is this: What should you do with your God-given imagination?
Let me suggest three ideas:
1. Use Your God-Given Imagination, or Lose It
God gave all of us unique abilities, talents, and gifts. Yes, while some may have more imagination than others, God gave all of us some degree of imaginative powers.
God reminds us in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
You are the manager of the gifts God gave to you. Use your imagination to apply those gifts to help God’s people.
In 1 Corinthians 4:2, Paul writes, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
2. Spur Your Imagination by Spending Time Alone with God
God desires “alone time” with us. He wants a personal relationship with us. He created us as individuals, “knitting us in the womb” (Psalm 139:13).
In a world which stresses teamwork, team-building, connections, and networking, our time alone with God can actually spur our imagination. Look what spending time alone with God can do:
– Moses spent time alone with God before parting the Red Sea.
– David communed with God before taking on Goliath.
– Jesus spent time alone with God before going to the cross.
3. Let Jesus Feed Your Imagination with Fun
As a Christian, you can enjoy life because your conscious is clear. Hebrews 10:22 tells us “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
You can enjoy life because you are secure within God’s love. As you relax in fun and security, then imagination will come your way.
Unfortunately, there are many people who do not want to let God into their lives because they fear God will make them give up everything that is fun.
In other words, they think that to become a Christian is the same as saying “the party’s over,” that to be spiritual is to be miserable. People are frantically looking for fun fixes, but that means they operate under the law of diminishing returns. They spend more time, more money, and more energy to get less and less of a thrill. They go around asking, “Are we having fun yet?”
Class of 2016 my message to you is this:
God is a God of truth
God is a God of love
God is a God of imagination
Walt Disney is one of the undisputed kings of imagination – from movies to theme parks to books to amination. The imaginative dreams of Disney remain the driving force of entertainment and popular culture, some 50 years after his death.
As I said earlier, days like today are special because when imagination is mixed with dreams, talent and hard work – special things happen.
Class of 2016, today is a dream come true. You know imagination cannot happen without dreams.
Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Class of 2016, chase your dreams and let your God-given imagination flow. When you do that, great things will happen.
Thank you and my God richly bless you.