Set your hearts on things above…….set your minds on things above – Colossians 3: 1b, 2a

God has given us the gift of imagination.  We can feed it and grow it into something that draws us closer to God, or we can feed it and grow it into something that becomes an idol.

I was listening to a recent ‘Focus on the Family’ discussion about the impact Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series has had on women of all ages. World-wide, 85 million copies have been sold since 2005. Apparently young girls are not the only ones feeding on this rich fantasy. There are married women, too, who are being drawn into an exciting fictional life.  Similar to the Harry Potter craze that made many children want to attend Hogwarts, Bella and Edward’s romance is being lived out vicariously by numerous women.  The guests on the show were saying that the attraction is akin to the lure men fall spell to when they indulge in porn.  They fantasize about something ‘better’ than real life.  The danger, however, is the disengagement from real life and the ensuing disappointment when one compares the two.

Thinking about the ease with which these readers can craft an imaginary world made me think about our God who is not imaginary.  Yes, He is invisible.  But He is real.  We, too, have a book, but what sets it apart is that is empowered by an actual living Holy Spirit.  What if we read our Bibles with the same intensity and devotion that girls are gobbling up the Twilight series?  Numerous girls, disappointed when they come to the end of the 4th novel, have read the series several times, even though they know the outcome.  Their reaction reminds me of the milestone set in Italy when James Cameron’s Titanic came out.  NPR interviewed one Italian teen who had been to the theaters 55 times to see the film.

If young women are so drawn to a secular series that isn’t even real OR healthy, shouldn’t we look at God’s word with at least AS MUCH interest?  After all, it is Truth. It’s about an exciting life that is here and not just in the future.

I’ve heard people complain that it is difficult to love God because He’s not flesh and blood, not tangible, like one’s husband or child.  Now I realize that is just an excuse.  Looking at the Twilight phenomenon is proof that we can use our imaginations.  It is a matter of feeding our mind, of re-reading our Book, of meditating.  Actually, we should be encouraged to know, that we, too, can have a ‘magnificent obsession’.  And when we encounter a fan of this vampire series, let us take advantage of the opening and share what a REAL lover is like, one who will never disappoint us or harm us, unlike Edward.