470: Seeing Scripture Through the Theater of Your Mind
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Seeing With More Than Your Eyes
When you read anything, including Scripture, there’s something that happens that is called the theater of your mind. It is in the theater of your mind that you take descriptive text and add details to make the story more personal, more alive, more kinetic. For example, consider this simple description: “It was raining. As he walked to the car, he pulled his coat tight around himself and quickened his steps.”
Now, what scene are you seeing in your mind? And what details have you added to make this descriptive statement more descriptive? How hard was it raining? Was this a rural setting or a side street in New York City? Or was the man on his front porch walking across his lawn to his car, or was he coming out of a restaurant or an office building in downtown Chicago? Did this take place in winter, maybe mid-January? Or was it in early Spring, during the first week of May? What was the color of his coat? How old was the man? Was he dressed in a tuxedo like he was heading to a wedding? Or was he tired, in worn-out overalls, on his way home after spending twelve hours in a wheat field on a John Deere Harvester? How do you see this in the theater of your mind?
There is no right or wrong answer. You are the one who adds these secondary elements to what you read and paints black and white text with a pallet of colors you make up in your own mind. We all do this. Everyone does this when we read descriptive text.
How Does the Theater of My Mind Help Me Understand Scripture?
And the same thing happens when we read, for example, the gospels. We tend to focus on the red print, the words of Jesus, to systematically glean doctrine and truth. But we skim over the black print, the descriptions of people and places where Jesus spoke and performed miracles, creating stick figures or silhouettes of the characters in Scripture. And by using the gift of having a theater in your mind, it can greatly increase your experience with Scripture. You will, in effect, see everything differently.
Now rest assured, we are not adding to His Word nor or we taking anything away. We are simply imagining some details to make the story more alive. And we are wondering what we would have seen, or heard, or felt if we were actually watching a biblical scene play out before us.
Matthew 19:13 – Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.
Imagine you were there with Jesus when this event took place. How old were the children? How many of them were brought to Jesus? And who brought them? The disciples? Others who were listening to Jesus? Maybe the mothers of the children? Who did the disciples rebuke? Jesus? The mothers? The children themselves? Someone else? And how did Jesus respond? What was the expression on His face? Was He angry? Annoyed? Hurt? Satisfied? Sad?
But What are the Right Answers?
There are no answers to any of these questions in Scripture. But as you read this single passage and let your mind focus on the words, you will begin to develop a picture in your mind of what this event might have looked like. And as your mental theater begins to expand, so will your emotions. And you will find you will begin to feel as you read the text what you would have felt had you been there personally, two-thousand years ago, as a first-hand witness.
And once you master this tool, Scripture will begin to take on an entirely new experience for you.
So join us as we learn how to experience the Word of God using the Theater of Our Minds.