Life is crazy. Who needs to tell you that, right!? How is it that there’s a lesson to be learnt every day and we still get it wrong? How is that we feel like our eyes are only opened after years of living, when we’ve had all that time to realise what we need to do to help ourselves, and recognise what we’re doing wrong that is preventing us from helping ourselves? But that’s the way it is, and I guess we all learn to accept that in time.
Perhaps the hardest part is the sudden realisation that each one of us has our own path to walk. When it comes down to it, no one knows what I’m going through. I don’t know what you are going through. We are each treading our own un-trodden paths in landscapes that may be worlds apart, and sometimes it would be so much easier if someone could just walk alongside us, to share the good times as well as the burdens.
When I was younger I looked to my Dad as someone who did everything right. Although I was scared of him sometimes, he was still right, whatever happened – he had all the answers.
And then I grew up. And I felt the pain and the cold of the world, and I saw that we are a hurting world because none of us have the answers. Not even my Dad.
A friend recently told me that the Greek word for ‘spirit’ means ‘to inspire’. After looking the word up, I couldn’t find any confirmation for this (although I did find these pages: http://www.jimloy.com/language/greek.htm, see the word ‘charisma’ and http://bible.org/illustration/charisma), but I did find out that the Greek word for ‘spirit’ is ‘wind’ or ‘breath’ (http://concordances.org/greek/4151.htm). And although this isn’t exactly the same as ‘to inspire’, it’s interesting that we can allow ourselves to be affected by the actions of another person – much like the wind can blow around us; we are aware of it, but we can either ignore it or acknowledge it and either use it fill our sails – or shiver in its coldness and force.
Each of us has a spirit, and just as the wind blows around us, each of us inspires and influences each other in some way or another. The Holy Spirit is therefore a Holy Inspiration that leads us to recognition of the truth; the gospel, whilst giving us strength, motivation and passion to act and speak in certain ways.
When someone is inspired, they don’t behave aimlessly or randomly, although it may appear so to others. An inspired person has a dream to communicate something to the world and they will not stop just because other people doubt them or stand in their way.
Reflecting upon this meaning, I can now recognise the times I’ve been influenced by other people without knowing it. We need to be encouraged by each other, but our main inspiration and influence should come from above, not least because He knows exactly what our path looks like, and He is more than willing to walk alongside us and show us what’s best.
In our relationship with God, we need to remember that although we reflect God, our light; we are just the moon, not the sun. We can guide people towards God with the way we resemble Him in our lives, but when our work is done, the way we have affected others is not from us, but from Him.
Today I am going to listen to the people around me. I want to see what I can learn from them; I want to see the ways in which they are close to God which I could benefit from. And I want to try and lay aside the things that are burdening me, because they are not understood by others, but they are understood by One. It takes effort and determination, and laying down what we know to be bad in ourselves is a constant struggle. But that’s why we need His breath upon us; His inspiration; His passion, His motivation – despite the people who doubt us and those who stand in our way.
And wouldn’t it be amazing if we inspired exactly those!?
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
– John 3:8