I like music. Being from the Nashville area I really didn’t have any choice in the matter. It’s part of the social DNA.
Although I can’t string two chords together, I enjoy artists fashioning notes into sounds which reach to ones emotions. When listening to music I love to hear the inspiration from other artists.
Which musicians are influenced by the harmonic melody and blend of string instruments originating from Appalachia? Who spent years listening to the gruff and soulful sound of notes bent into emotion as men from the delta sang about their struggles?
In a way, we are all like artists. We all have sources of inspiration which shape our life, for example:
Your older co-worker completes a marathon so you’re inspired to begin running. Good idea.
You ate at the new Asian restaurant the other day and you’re inspired to fix sushi for dinner. Not so good idea.
You just binge watched Fixer Upper and you’re inspired to demo your house and build your own Magnolia Farm. Bad idea.
-The Problem with inspiration
The problem with inspiration is that most of us wait for others to inspire us instead of seeking it on our own. We are reactive to culture or circumstances or community around us instead of being proactive. Why do you think we are bombarded by advertisements (apart from the economic reasons)? Because sellers of goods and services want to inspire us to buy their product with the hopes our life will be better because of it.
Do you wait on inspiration for life? If so take a lesson from author Jack London who bluntly stated, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” Here are two simple suggestions for going after inspiration:
Find a Community of Inspiration.
-Greek philosophy and thought flourished in the public forums of ancient Athens. Socrates inspired Plato who inspired Aristotle.
-Art flourished in many mediums during the Italian Renaissance. DaVinci’s technical skills with paint and knowledge of the human body inspired Michelangelo’s lifelike sculptures and immense detail in his work. Raphael paid homage to his inspirations by including both DaVinci and Michelangelo in his work The School of Athens.
-The high point of classical music centered around Vienna during the 18th century. Composers such as Hayden, Mozart and Beethoven were contemporaries and served to inspire one another in the music halls of Vienna.
Do you have a community of inspiration? Let me rephrase that… do you have a non-social media, face to face, living and breathing community of inspiration? Are you intentional about others in your life who inspire you to a fullness of life?
As believers in the resurrected King, Christians have a great and treasured blessing in being part of a community designed to spur one another towards love and good deeds. If you are 1) a believer and 2) a member of a local church then take full advantage of your opportunity for inspiration. Listen to the lives’ of more mature believers as they’ve struggled. Sit down with those who have been involved with missions and let their life inspire you towards a greater appreciation and desire for cultural engagement of the Gospel and the spreading the fame of Jesus. Join your deacon or elder as they visit the new couple who was at last Sunday’s worship service. Once we truly open up our lives with fellow believers and share what God has done and is doing we may find ourselves becoming inspirations to others.
-Inspiration from the Inspired
When God describes His Word as words of life. I don’t believe He was using that statement as merely a figure of speech. Do the words of life from the Author of life inspire our life?
We all have multiple sources of inspiration; both constructive and destructive. Look no further than our human nature to see destructive inspirations. Pride in ourselves. Lust towards others. Greed for possessions. It should come as no surprise that God tells us we are lured and enticed by our own desire. Because of our sinful condition we inspire ourselves to evil.
Thanks be to God that He in His divine wisdom has brought us His divine Word to combat the inspiration of our fallen nature. It’s for this reason the Psalms open with the proclamation:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.(Psalm 1:1-3)
Do you want to be blessed? Do you want to be described as a tree with a continual source of life giving water and who prospers in all you do? Seek inspiration for living from the words of live!
-When you wake up, let your first thought be inspired by His truth.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23)
–When you pour your morning cereal or coffee, be reminded of God’s provision.
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26)
–When you glance at your devotional in the morning, take the time to feast on the life giving Word.
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
–When you are caring for an aging parent or spouse in need, live as our servant King does.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, (Philippians 2:3-6)
-When you are emotional torn at what to do with the fatherless children who will grow up without parental guidance, let God inspire you to do something about it.
learn to do good;
seek justice,correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
We are all being inspired; so what’s you transpiration?