We are certainly not in lack of ways to be inspired in this world.
From nature and the universe, to role models, from history, to grand movements of people -- anyone can find at least one thing by which to be inspired toward greater things. Artists, thinkers, builders, visionaries: their lives and legacies all cry out for us to live for something more.
And when we infer that message, we’re happily met with a strong yet warm feeling inside that agrees and echoes the same. Inspiration can be found everywhere yet is uniquely crafted toward the individual that needs it. It’s something so rare, yet so available.
With such an accessible resource at our disposal, we are encouraged endlessly through cultural sways and mantra creators to be inspired daily. And we should be inspired daily. What’s the point of the daily grind if we do not find some joy, passion and excitement in what we do during this short life?
For many of us, we’ve been met with that same fervent feeling time and time again. Inspiration is no stranger to us, for we are familiar with the gifts of excitement and zeal that it brings when we are propelled by the actions and stories of others. We express how we feel by saying “that inspires me” because it’s the best way we know to describe what’s happening on the inside.
Only inspiration was never meant to stay on the inside….
I’m not a three-point message type of communicator. My best preparations come when I can focus on one central idea surged with stories and Scripture to reinforce one take home point and one action step.
I always appreciate when people share their thoughts and feedback after I preach. It allows me share a personal moment with them about how the message hit home in their hearts and what God’s doing in their lives. But there’s always a statement of the year that sends me into a giant smile every time…
“That’s inspired me to do _____________________”
Inspirational moments make us feel powerful inside. They point us toward something greater than ourselves. They are needed, and wanted and essential in our lives. May we never live a life void of inspiration.
But they aren’t meant to be a permanent residence. Inspiration is purposed to be the momentum that pushes you to do something when you didn’t have the ‘umph’ to do it before.
As Jesus taught among the crowds, inspiration settled within his listeners’ hearts to be different. What he spoke on was revolutionary. It was an unseen lifestyle that people craved.
Growing from a few to a few thousand, people drew near to simply hear the wisdom pouring from his lips. It was exciting. It was astounding. The things He spoke of were inspirational (and clearly still are today).
In Luke 11, we find the masses settling in to hear Jesus speak. It was the cool thing to do, as I imagine cities shut down for the day when he came into town. One particular woman finds herself inspired in the moment and shouts out accolades and compliments about Jesus’ family.
Her inspiration was probably contagious and difficult to keep in. She admired Jesus. I can imagine in the same way that we esteem people today, she wanted to be associated with Him. Maybe she wanted to be just like Him. Yet Jesus responds…
“But even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice.”
In other words, don’t just feel great about what you’ve just heard. Act on it. Use it. Make it a habit. Do something about it.
It’s one wonderful, great, ambitious thing to be inspired. But it’s purpose? For us to use it and implement it for action without our own life.
Now, it’s impossible to bundle up all the things that challenge our core and instantly become the perfect person we emulate to be. But, we can use our inspiration to do something about the most important thing that matters in the moment.
“The One Thing” by Gary Keller references that it takes 66 days to build a consistent habit. In theory, that means we can only build five healthy habits within a year. In actuality (let’s be honest) we can probably only build three habits so we can also take a short break in-between each one to build consistency.
So, use your inspiration for the immediate change that you need to see. Because time is short and life is precious. At only three positive changes to be made a year, we better use our inspiration for what counts.
Next time you find yourself inspired, ask yourself, “What is the one, productive thing I’m going to do about it now that I have the momentum to feel this way?”
Sure, timing is a factor. Resources are a factor – but don’t let inspiration become the house where you settled down and made a home when it was meant to be the perfect guest house that left you rejuvenated and sent you off to further things.