Are you able to see things that are invisible to others? A person who has imagination is actually able to see things that other people are not capable of seeing. I am not 100% sure who first said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” I believe Albert Einstein is credited with the quote. I am confident, however, that many other people before him knew the value of having a dream, seeing the impossible and attempting things never before done!
When I was in seminary, I had a professor who told us that the first thing that we ever learn about God is found in the opening words of His book…“In the beginning, God created…” The professor went on to say that when we are in a creative mode, trying to bring about new things that have never been done before, we are in a mode that is perhaps more “godlike” than at any other time in our life. That is a fascinating thought in itself!
Think about it for just a moment. To know that I have the ability to create something that will help people, encourage others or be a blessing to someone’s life, is really a phenomenal concept. And just think…it all begins with my own imagination – and many of those new ideas or concepts arise out of a desire to do something in a new or better way or even perhaps to correct a mistake which has occurred.
One of my favorite things to do is to read stories about how things came into existence. I have a book entitled, “Mistakes That Worked.” The author’s research points out how many things had their beginning in someone’s imagination. Even though the ideas did not seem to work at the time, they eventually were discovered to be wonderful ideas or inventions. Their mistakes actually opened the door to opening their imagination.
One of my favorite stories was about chocolate chip cookies. A lady who was baking cookies for a friend put chocolate morsels in the cookies thinking that they would melt and the cookies would be totally chocolate. When she removed them from the oven, she was surprised to find that the chocolate morsels had not melted at all! The chocolate chips had remained in place and the cookies had not turned entirely dark or chocolate in color.
The woman was ready to throw away the whole batch because she was certain the cookies were ruined. But, it was late and her friend was waiting for the cookies so they decided to try them anyway. The friend took one bite of the cookie and said to her surprise, “These are the best cookies that I have ever put in my mouth!”
Those words opened a whole new door of imagination and opportunity for that cook. Of course, we all know what a big hit that “mistake” was! How many of us can even live without chocolate chip cookies?!
I also love the imagination of the “old English cook” who enjoyed cooking potatoes. He had one particular patron who loved the fact that he cut the potatoes in a very thin manner. One night the patron asked the cook if it were possible to cut them even thinner. The old cook decided that he would cut the potatoes so thin it would be hard to recognize that they were even potatoes! Then he fried them and called them “potato chips” and thus, imagination brought about another new creation.
Can you see why I like these stories? They illustrate how someone’s imagination (which again, may have even started out as a mistake), brought about something new to all of our lives.
New creations are constantly being invented. Most of our grandparents who are still living today have seen the world change more in the past 100 years than it has been changed in several thousand years! And all of this is as a direct result of someone’s imagination. Just think what Steve Jobs’ imagination has done for the world.
Let me encourage you this week to become more of a creator. Begin to imagine what CAN be done. Look at possibilities that have never been done or tried before. Why not become the creator or inventor of one of these ideas yourself? All it takes is a little imagination and it may take you and, perhaps the whole world, to have a brand new experience.
Tip: Imagination is more important than knowledge!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm