Inspiration is that experience you feel deep in your soul, a longing to do something creative, fresh and maybe even brilliant. You encounter or see something that motivates you to take a risk and to go way outside of your comfort zone.
To inspire someone is to motivate them and spur them on to something incredible. In fact, the word comes from the Latin inspirare, which is a combination of two Latin words, in—“into” and spirare which means “breathe.”
So, to inspire is to breathe into someone’s soul in the sense of imparting a revelation or an idea that powerfully influences and animates that individual to action.
I remember the first time I was inspired.
About a thousand years ago there was a TV program called Daniel Boone. It was about a real American folk hero who was a pioneer, explorer and frontiersman. The series ran from 1964 to 1970, and I don’t think I missed a single episode.
I wore a Daniel Boone hat, carried a Daniel Boone hatchet and long-rifle (a BB gun), and I still can sing the theme song to this day.
The life and times of Daniel Boone so inspired me that I built my first log cabin when I was just nine years old (for real) and my second with some friends when I was 15. Of course, the first one wasn’t much and certainly was not fit for human habitation. However, I fought off a bunch of “bad guys” from that homestead, and I loved my cabin.
I remember the last time I was inspired too.
It was while my small group (a Rooted Group) served lunch at the local Union Gospel Mission (UGM). We had the opportunity to hear from Curtis, a young man in the program whose life has radically changed because of Jesus and the ministry of UGM.
I cried as I heard his story of rescue, redemption and restoration. And I thought, if this guy can change, anybody can change; I won’t ever give up on anyone ever again. Curtis’ story breathed hope into my soul.
So, what’s the point in this blog?
Here it is short and simple: Are you being inspired by others and then living in such a way that you inspire those in your sphere of influence?
If not, why not?
The secret to inspiring others is to be inspired by others.
Someone breathes into you, and you breathe into someone else. Inspiration doesn’t happen in a vacuum because there’s no air (i.e., breath) in a vacuum.
Are you reading something inspiring, or is it trashy and worthless?
Are you seeing greatness in others or watching too many hours of mind-numbing television?
Are you engaging with those who motivate you to dream and to grow, or is the crowd you run with full of Debbie Downers?
Are you investing time with God in prayer and in His Word (the ultimate inspiration)?
So, when’s the last time you felt inspired?
If it’s been too long, or if you can’t even think of the last time something or someone inspired you, then perhaps you need to get out of the rut you’re trapped in and breathe in something fresh.
With a slight twist to something Maya Angelou once wrote, maybe it’s time to “let someone be a rainbow in your cloud.” In other words, open your soul to the brilliance and creativity of others in a way that illuminates the possibilities.
You see, inspiration is contagious.
So breathe in.
Do your best to inspire and encourage others. Like a master builder, continue to create something new and awesome in each other. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (Bubna Paraphrase)