The Benefits of Daydreaming

I recently read CT Magazine interview with Adam Young, who is the one-man band known as Owl City.  He is a Christian, and his words, though not directly quoting scripture here definitely hint at a concept that I believe is quite biblical (see Hebrews 12:2 “…fixing our eyes on Jesus”).  Here’s an excerpt. 

Q: On the new song “The Real World,” you sing, “Reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” Over the last couple of years—word tours, becoming a “celebrity,” rarely sleeping in your own bed—do you think you’ve experienced much “reality,” at least like the rest of us?

A: I find it fascinating how some people think of daydreaming or “escapism” as a reckless way of turning one’s back on responsibility, but for me, it couldn’t be more opposite. The idea of going to/returning from a place in my head where everything is beautiful and absolutely perfect has an uncanny way of influencing almost EVERYTHING I do, whether it be creating music or writing lyrics or even living life day to day. I love imagining what the world would be like if things were in fact perfect because it makes me WANT to do whatever I can to fulfill that dream in and around my own life.

The line, “Reality is a lovely place but I wouldn’t want to live there” (in one of Owl City’s songs) is a fun way of saying I appreciate life exactly as it is, and although I can’t change the world by any means, I can touch it. It’s merely my way of dealing with things by proclaiming I can’t keep the dark days from happening or the frustrations from occurring, but I can fix my eyes on that one blue patch of sky and thus keep my eyes focused on what truly matters.

This idea of intentionally focusing on the good things in life first resonated with me deeply while reading Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven.  I was obviously spending a good deal of time thinking about Heaven and what it will be like and it started to be become real to me in a new way.  I found that when I was able to picture the reality of Heaven in a clearer and more relatable way (with images fixed in the real world rather than just abstract ideas and pictures of fluffy clouds), I ended up living in the joyful hope that I would be there some day.  And when you are looking forward to something joyful, the anticipation of that time makes the present time more joyful, too.  Just think back to your last vacation.  The anticipation of that vacation was almost as joyful as the actual vacation, right? Just knowing that it was coming brightened your days until you actually headed out the door for the vacation.

I’m not an advocate for Oprah’s (and the like) generic “Power of Positive Thinking” philosophy, but I think there is something to be said for the very real benefits of “daydreaming” (as Adam Young says).  I’m reminded of Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”  Actually, you might as well start back at verse 4, but I’ll let you look it up on your own.  Ok, fine, here’s a link.

What do you think?  Leave a comment.

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