“This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving. I choose to live life this way. I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, ‘aw shit, he’s up!”
“If you are what you were meant to be, you would set the world on fire.”
st. catherine of siena
It’s easy to get lost in the day, week and even the month. We all know people who are so driven they blink and a whole year is gone. This is not about being driven and productive. We all love to accomplish and engage in new activities and opportunities. But we should also be mindful of remaining very connected to who we are and the people we choose to include in our lives.
To make sure we keep the connection, we need to consciously set aside time for self-reflection. This is different than the time we take for prayer or meditation. This time is specifically focused on questions about where we are in our life: our goals, our behavior, and our spiritual health. We can’t be of any good to other people unless we are first good to ourselves. So we must set aside time to unplug from everybody and everything. This will help make sure we are in touch with the deepest part of our soul so we can be whole for the people and the world we care about.
“Inspiration is evoked spontaneously and without intention by something– whether it’s an idea that comes from within, an inspiring person such as a role model, or a divine revelation. Inspiration matters. Inspiration allows us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations and is a strong driver of the attainment of our goals, productivity, creativity, and well-being. Inspiration transforms a person from experiencing a culture of apathy to experiencing a world of possibility. This all happens without any shift in ability or skill, and in fact, propels the level of ability that the person thought they were capable.”
We can be inspired in and through so many everyday things: a sunrise, a passing conversation, a song, a picture, a tweet . . . the list could go on forever. The effect of inspiration is as unique as we are.
Webster defines inspiration in three views: a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation; the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions; the act of influencing or suggesting opinions.
Stories connect our lives to others, especially those found in the Gospels. Pictures can transport us to different times of life and represent so many different elements of our life. Songs can trigger a wave of visual images that become cinematic scenes. What is important is finding those things that inspire you to be the best version of what you were created to be.
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
Encounters are those experiences where people leave lasting impressions in our lives, and they can either feed or wound our relationships. In some cases, an encounter can move us from having no relationship to having a new and amazing relationship. In other cases, encounters strengthen existing relationships.
Whether we are away from Christ and are in need of an encounter to bring us to (or back to) Him, or whether we have been walking with Him for years but we feel our sense of relationship with Him could be strengthened, encounters are the wellspring of relationships.
Encountering Jesus is the foundation for all renewal. Knowledge of Scripture is knowledge of Christ. And it is not a simple knowledge of the facts about Jesus, but rather a relational, growing acquaintance with Jesus. We read the Scriptures to come to know not just things about Him but to come to know Him.
“In the Scriptures, we encounter challenges that invite us to grow. These challenges tend to come in two types: in the things that are not as clear, and in the things that are very clear. Commenting on the difficulties found in Scripture, St. Augustine said that God placed them in the texts so that we would return again and again to ponder the mysteries.” – Curtis Martin