March 9, 2009
Thanks to all of you who have encouraged me to continue writing through your comments and email. It brings my heart joy knowing that all this writing is benefiting someone other than me. It has been a wonderful outlet! I told Tim that it’s like unclogging a main artery to my heart. I have a fresh appreciation for those who are courageous enough to put their words in print. I have been thinking a lot lately about how much I need people in my life to spur me on and inspire me. Because I love definitions, here is how the free online dictionary by Farlex defines inspire: to affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence; to fill with enlivening or exalting emotion; to stimulate to action; motivate; to affect or touch; to draw forth; elicit or arouse; to be the cause or source of; bring about; to stimulate energies, ideals, or reverence. Wow! You would think that in order to inspire someone, you would have to really work hard at it. On the contrary, what I have found is that those who truly inspire are those who are busy being who they are created to be, whether anyone is observing them or not. I personally have been inspired by the character of many in my lifetime. To name a few: my husband by his fervor and passion to live biblical truth; my father by his patriotic commitments, along with his integrity; my mother by her ability to persevere through enormous difficulty; my daughters, each in their own unique way, but primarily in their continued desire to live lives that honor God; my son-in-law by his tenacity to pursue the dreams God has put in his heart; all my friends and family members who continue to seek after God with all their hearts even in the midst of a world that is hostile toward their beliefs; Christian leaders who persevere through opposition and preach the truth of God’s Word uncompromisingly, no matter the cost; and, on a lighter note, Author and Speaker Emily Barnes for teaching me all about taking tea! A person who can be inspired by another is one who has learned an important aspect of survival in this life. Many times our pride will keep us from allowing others to speak into our lives. Proverbs 18:1 tells us “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.” There have definitely been times in my life when I have not allowed others in. After going through a period of isolation, I realized how much I needed other people. It is so tempting to try to be an island because it initially seems safe, peaceful, or just easier all around. It doesn’t take long to realize that isolation only brings stagnation and growth becomes obscure. We were created to have fellowship with one another and without it, we will grow weak and vulnerable (Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching). As I make attempts at welcoming others into my life, I realize the importance of seeking out those who also appreciate being inspired. These individuals seem to be the ones who are growing. “Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with spark, or motivated.” (Johann Gottfried Von Herder) I have noticed that when I am truly inspired, I have an unquenchable need to affirm the one who has inspired me. Hopefully in return, they are compelled to continue being who they were created to be and consequently inspiring others. When was the last time your ideals were stimulated? When were you last divinely influenced or touched? If it’s been a while and you can sense some stagnation in your life, it may be time to get in the boat and sail off the island of isolation toward the mainland where inspiration abounds. I believe there are great things awaiting you there! Open your heart and allow someone in! Grace-Works!