Inspired by….

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 ‘Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God’  – Maya Angelou

We see the phrase “Inspired by” on movies, we hear it from people, and we read about it. Though what does it really mean to be “Inspired by”. While there are so many types of inspiration the most common element is to be motived. Even a movie that was “Inspired by” means someone was motivated to tell the story even if it differs from the inspiration.

For me inspiration leads my life. Something, someone, or somewhere will set off an inspiration inside me. Now the interesting thing is even if it is my own inner drive that gets me moving on the inspiration, the key that turned that switch comes from someplace else. It has a driver that sees more than I can see and also knows me well enough to know how to inspire me. I had to be placed in that somewhere or near that something, or meet that someone. It’s what I call “A God thing”, something I try not to ignore.

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“Prayer at its highest is a two-way conversation-and for me the most important part is listening to God’s replies.” ― Frank C. Laubach

I for some reason feel the need to go someplace, so I listen and go. There I end up finding something that inspires something. I’m put in certain spots or meet certain people that seem to help me. I’ve been interested in expanding my photography skill and taking more photos. I go to lunch with someone for one reason but find out they enjoy photography and have knowledge of equipment etc. So not just something we can connect on but also a chance to possibly expand my knowledge.

I learned at a young age to follow the inspiration that comes to me. In eighth grade one of the classes I had talked about the stock market. That stuck with me and over the years my knowledge and understanding of the stock market expanded. It also expanded into finances in general something my parents didn’t understand. That seed that stayed with me from eighth grade on and has been yet another blessing in my life.

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“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.”
― G.K. Chesterton

I could go on about all the blessings in my life but the point is that if we listen, truly listen to the voice that speaks quietly to us that tries to inspire us, tries to place us where we can be inspired, that understands us and knows how to motivate us it can lead to an amazing life, but the first step is Faith.

Allowing yourself to be open to where you are being lead and trusting that even if you don’t understand that at some point you will. Sometimes it is hindsight that you see where that path took you, but that once you have Faith, the next step is Trust. Trust that even if you don’t understand, that even if it is hard and the path is dark, you’ll not only make it through but end up where you should be.

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“Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

The thing is that Faith and Trust aren’t always easy especially when faced with your own Ego and desire. Do you let yourself go and just follow blindly to whatever end? Then you have to face doubt, what ifs, the question of is this what is intended, what if I’m not supposed to go this way, whose voice am I listening to, etc.   I can’t answer how to fight doubt because we each face doubt in our own way. I present questions to myself and some things I just know, which I can’t even explain how I know I just do.

I like my data. I enjoy knowledge, researching, and thinking. So what I’m going to say will be opposite from my usual nature. Try not to think too much about it and follow Nike’s advice and just do it. Just set out on whatever it is you are being compelled to do or inspired to do. Now I’m not saying don’t think in general, but I mean when you hear the voice just set upon the path then use your skills, thinking, knowledge and etc. once you set upon the path.

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“Not everything we experience can be explained by logic or science.”
― Linda Westphal

Also sometimes being compelled is just something simple not a grand thing. In fact most times it is small things that you may not realize.

My current inspiration is one I’m intrigued by because I ended up picking up a couple books by John C. Maxwell. A had no knowledge of this author, did no research before getting the books, it started as I came across an audiobook and something clicked in me. I ended up walking to the other side of the store to find his other books. Two just seemed right for me “Today Matters” and “Maxwell Daily Reader”.

I have no idea why. I’ve never bothered to read anything on leadership in the past even with all my reading and self-help stuff nothing ever about leadership, so that is the first odd thing. Though I also understand that whatever I’m supposed to get from this may have nothing to do with leadership even though that is what the books are about. It may be some other lesson I’m supposed to learn. I have no idea which is what so intrigues me about this. It’s kind of fun just to see what happens. It may just be one thing I’m supposed to get from it and have absolutely nothing to do with what the writer is writing about.

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“When many voices are speaking at once, listen to the one most quiet and gentle. That’s the one worth listening to.” ― Miranda Linda Weisz

That’s the other thing, make following that compulsion or inspiration fun, and make it about finding out what the journey has in store for you or even others. Make it an adventure. Also be open to it and don’t go in with preconceived notions. You may even fail at something that started as an inspiration only to realize there was a lesson in that failure that helps you later.

I was done with Church, I was one of the “Done with Church” crowd. Even though I was raised conservative Christian and explored when I got older. I had friends that always talked about how strong my faith was, but then after enough moments I was done. I had no interest in going to a church again. My faith in God and Christ were still there, I just didn’t care to go to church anymore. I had become so jaded by the experience I wanted nothing more to do with the church.

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“Stop expecting the world to affirm you as a person. Half of the world will like you and the other half will hate you, despite what you say or do. Christ knew this truth, but he did his life mission anyways.”  ― Shannon L. Alder

 

It seems the journey I took after that would eventually lead me back to church and in a role that I would have never predicted. It also restored my faith in various ways. It seems that God has a plan for me and lead me on a journey so I would grow more before bringing me to someplace that feels right and I care about and even to something that I feel inspired to be.

Which is working for the church, but another interesting twist. The church is a United Methodist Church which is the faith my wife grew up in and the last denomination I was part of before being done with church. Which I noticed the positive impact on my wife with us being there. So it not only was my journey but it ended up helping her. Which anything that helps my wife and makes her happy, makes me happy.

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“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”  ― John Lennon

Yea God has a beautiful sense of humor and irony. I kind of dig that about him. Though I’ve always considered him a friend and thus it makes sense humor and irony would be part of our relationship.

So to close, listen to that voice that inspires, the voice that comes from someone that knows you, loves you, and wants to help you be where you should be.

 

Thanks for your time.

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“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw

FYI, any grammar errors you find I apologize for. My editor was sleeping when I finished this and then had this silly thing called work this morning. I decided to be daring and post it without her review of my work.  Which also means if at any point it felt like I went off topic or it was a little confusing, well its just the way it hit the page.

The pictures are from our trip to McCormick State Park and Cataract Falls in Indiana.

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