It is compelling to watch or read an inspired work.
I have a vivid memory of an opera that we attended many years ago in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. It was a moving performance in a beautiful, old-world setting that resonated with the hearts of everyone present.
One of my all-time favorite movie scenes would have to be from David Lean's "Doctor Zhivago": toward the end at Varykino, weak and broken in so many ways, knowing their days were numbered, up before dawn, wolves howling, sitting at a desk in the unspeakably cold early morning hours... writing, and writing, and writing. Once it started, it just flowed from his pen. Inevitably, what they had clung to for dear life was wrenched from them and mutated into a wistful yearning for days gone by.
"Inspired" might be a good word to characterize the poetry at the end of the novel. It commemorates moments, moods, profound sadness; capturing in words what a photograph might.
Pasternak was a genius.
Ahh... to feel even faintly inspired... glorious privilege! To look back at a finished product surprised at how it turned out... even wondering sometimes: where did that come from? To feel consumed with something until it finally finds it's way out... to have it out far enough to know what direction to continue, what spaces need filled, what to cut or rearrange.
How do fragments of thoughts scattered about on random scraps of paper (so much for living in the digital age) come together as something coherent and profitable? All those years of running without a voice recorder! Flashes of ideas that should not have been forgotten -but were- by the time I would get back to the house. Thoughts that congeal and dissipate all in a moment.
So many lost moments.
Inspiration seems fickle, elusive, accompanied by a sense of loss, a feeling that what was grasped was so much less than what slipped away.
That persistent sense of loss convinces me that the need for inspiration is indicative of a source outside of me that I yearn to connect with. According to the systematic theology book in front of me, one of the arguments for the existence of God is the cosmological one: that every effect requires a sufficient cause.
Could it be that the yearning for inspiration is akin to a spiritual belly button? It is an undeniable reminder that I am a created being who cannot help but crave what I have somehow been separated from.
What if God exists?
What if he has spoken? What if His words were preserved and accessible to me? That would take some of the subjectivity away from my search for inspiration while adding absoluteness and commonality of purpose to our shared discoveries.
"If the Bible can be believed": the biggest "if" anywhere!
"All Scripture is breathed out by God..." (2Tim 3:16) θεοπνευστος (theopneustos) God-breathed... is used of the Scriptures as distinct from non-inspired writings. Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale and the Great Bible have the rendering "inspired of God."
What if my imagination and creative impulses were reconnected with divinity? What if my source of inspiration were shifted from the subjective realm of a finite, relative perspective to the infinite, absolute revelation of an eternal God?
We are meant to be inspired, to be moved to life-altering decisions, to risk all for a higher cause. Even broken people are allowed this privilege. But the leap is not at all about arbitrariness shrouded in despair. (as in, "a person has to believe in something.")
The Apostle Peter wrote: "And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed..." (2Pe 1:19) Compared to any other attempt at inspiration, how do we compete with the people through whom God brought and recorded His Word?
What if we worked as hard at getting out what God has put in us as we do to establish ourselves as somehow gifted or unique? God-likeness would emerge; so would humility.
If the source of our inspiration is the Eternal Word, there is no end-of-the-line destination that we could arrive at in this life. That awareness should be a constant source of seeking, attaining and then getting it out for the benefit of others.
True inspiration is "God-breathed." It leads to awe and adoration. In the words of an old, old hymn:
Yes...! As of July 5, 2020, my book is now available on Amazon.com.
It's a new book about an old problem: the cross and the crown… the Gospel and politics… do they mix? Should they mix?
If my words generate some reflection and healthy conversation—as in more light and less heat—I will be satisfied.
For feedback or questions, feel free to use the email link below.
Greg grew up in Menomonee Falls, WI. His ministry began in 1976: 5 years in Central America, 37 in Mexico. Church planting and discipleship have been his passion.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." -Matthew 13:44
GREG'S other BLOG
Concise devotions in Spanish and English, along with some lengthier essays… Designed for personal spiritual growth and to help anyone studying English or Spanish as a second language to improve their skills… Rev 14:6