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Mine was a little darker, a little bigger, and had a strap (so my tape player looked like a purse and was easily portable for all of my backyard adventures).
I took it everywhere. I wore it out. I remember taking it outside with me, setting it up next to my swingset, blasting whatever children's church musical I was currently obsessed with, and swinging and singing and acting out all the parts until I had exhausted every bit of energy.
It was like I had my own constant soundtrack. Who wouldn't love that?
Best gift ever, mom and dad.
It literally eliminated the walls around my dreaming. I could go anywhere and I could be anything. That cassette player set my imagination free.
My imagination, as we'll revisit in the coming days, is something I very much depend on.
The problem, though, is that it's getting harder and harder for me to dream things up. If I still had this old cassette player, I'd dust it off, play one of those old tapes, and see if that would help; but I don't know that it would.
I know the issue, in part, is that I haven't used my imagination much lately. I haven't exercised it and given it time to grow. I've been creative and crafty and made things, but I haven't dreamed anything.
And I'm becoming increasingly aware that the gifts God gives us are given to be used. That may seem so obvious, I needed to actually, really, in my heart learn it. Matthew 25:14-30 tells the story of a master who entrusts his servants with talents while he is away, but when he returns one of the servants hid the talents and did nothing with them, while the others invested theirs and reaped benefits and profits for the master. The master was very displeased.
I wholeheartedly believe that a wild imagination is a gift that can wildly benefit the kingdom, but I've been sitting idly on the one I was given. I want the Master to be pleased with how I've used the talent He entrusted to me.
I might be twenty years past receiving that red cassette player, but I want to be just as free as the cotton-haired, wild girl who dreamed along with those songs.
It's time to set my imagination free.