I was watching PBS this morning and had a flashback to my childhood. I again found myself captivated by the imagination of Fred Rogers. Mr. Rogers loved to play make-believe (ding-ding, ding-ding). There is a part of all of us, whether kid or grown-up, that wishes we were somewhere else, someone else in some other time. Let’s pretend!
From a football star to beauty pageant winner, from boys WWF wrestling in the backyard to girls dressing up in mothers bedroom, kids are pretending all the time. I reminisce about the times I would dream as a kid that I was Michael Jordan with a basketball in my hands or a racecar driver in my wagon screaming down the street or superhero with a garbage can lid rescuing the neighbors from impending danger. The imagination never stopped.
Something’s do not change. As an adult I still pretend I am Brett Favre with a football in my hands, an opera singer in the shower, a world famous artist in my idea book, and the list goes on. As we grown-up pretending comes in different shapes, sizes and sometimes becomes more complicated.
The Bible refers to a holy make-believe. It speaks of a divine dress-up of ‘putting on’ Christ and living as ‘sons of God’. Or being ‘clothed in righteousness’ and thinking not ‘of this world’, but the one beyond.
There is a good and bad kind of pretending. A bad kind is where the pretence is there instead of the real thing. A good kind is where the pretence leads up to the real thing. For example, I ‘think of things above’ because one day I will be there or I try to be like Christ because one day I will be completely like Him.
“The Christ Himself, the Son of God who is man (just like you) and God (just like His Father) is actually at your side and is already at that moment beginning to turn your pretence into a reality.” C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity, 189) Christ has taken us tin soldiers and turned us into real men. God is not some cosmic Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, fairy godfather, magician or Mr. Rogers. He is the real deal. He is the divine Creator and Sustainer of all things. This includes my life.
I want pretend and play divine make-believe in order to make His pretence a reality. God looks at me as if I were a “little Christ”. And He is within in me to help me become more like Him.
“Anything God has ever done, He can do now. Anything God has ever done anywhere, He can do here. Anything God has ever done for anyone, He can do for you.” – A.W. Tozer
It’s such a good feeling to know you’re alive. It’s such a happy feeling: You’re growing inside. And when you wake up ready to say, “I think I’ll make a snappy new day.” – Fred Rogers