Mud Pies & Pretend Kool-Aid
I was born with an imagination and it has served me well throughout life.
There is a line in Anne of Green Gables where Anne asks Marilla, a middle-aged spinster with whom she has come to live, “Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?” To which Marilla replies firmly, “No.”. Anne responds “Oh, Miss Marilla, how much you miss!”
There are good things that you miss when you can’t imagine – for imagination is one of God’s best creations – in fact it’s an important part of creativity. You have to be able to imagine something before you can build it, especially without blueprints. But imagination can have it’s failings.
When I was a young child, we were very poor. I didn’t know we were poor because I had everything I really needed – food, clothing, shelter and both of my parents. But with a family of 7 kids, sometimes food was scarce. Or there were times when I was out playing and got hungry, but didn’t want to go into the house to get something to eat.
On one such an occasion, while playing with one of my younger brothers outside, I got hungry. There was a mud puddle nearby, since it had recently rained, where both mud and water were available. So I decided to make mud pies.
After I made the mud pies, I got some water from the mud puddle in a tin can and told my brother we were going to have lunch. I imagined the mud pies to be very tasty apple pies. I told my brother, “Let’s eat the pies.” and we both took a bite. It was not at all what I had imagined, nor did the muddy water taste at all like the Kool-Aid I had conjured up in my head.
Imagination is not a bad thing, and pretending can be fun for kids, but when it comes to mud pies versus real pies, the real thing is far tastier and definitely more satisfying. Just like what some refer to as “religion”.
We can either have a quest after a spirituality of our own imagining – “religion”, or we can have a real relationship with the God who created the universe. One is mostly ritual, though it may include a genuine belief in God – but the other is intimacy with a heavenly Father. One is a striving to attain something that perhaps will please the Divine Being, the other is enjoying fellowship with that Being at anytime of our choosing – even a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute walk.
Even as an adult, when I think back to those dirt pies from my childhood, I can still feel the texture of the grainy mud in my mouth. It’s a reminder that whether food or “religion” the real thing is far better.
How about it? Do you have a real relationship with the Heavenly Father, or do you just have to imagine it? Real pie, or mud pie?
©2011, Marcy Alves