Dancing Dog and I are on another summer bike ride around the neighborhood. As I take in the sights, I notice the name of a street: Inspiration Drive. That would be a nice street to live on. I love feeling inspired. Would I feel inspiration every time I see the street sign?
Then I notice another part of the street sign: Inspiration Court: Dead End. Dead end? I don’t want to live on a street where inspiration ends. Dead ends are too familiar.
What is inspiration? The Encarta Dictionary lists a number of definitions:
But what happens when Inspiration is a Dead End? For several years, I rarely had any ideas. No sudden brilliant ideas. No creative thoughts. No stimulation to do creative work. No divine influence. My brain was functionally “dead.” My primary thoughts were how to “not waste my brain energy” so I could function at the most basic level. One way I conserved brain energy was not talking, especially to people I didn’t know.
Over time, my brain is getting better. I experience divine influence and generate more ideas and creative thoughts. The past two months I notice I’m talking to people when I’m out and about. The man at the Walgreens photo counter has a child starting kindergarten like my grandson. I encourage the young man in the WalMart line who’s buying a car seat for his 2 1/2 year old. The mom buying American Dolls for her three young daughters shares why she’s buying them dolls.
Why do I bother talking to others? I believe God can use even a brief conversation to encourage someone, let someone know they’re not alone, share an idea, or be inspired by their story. I may never know the impact of my assorted short conversations with others along life’s path, but I do know they may be part of God’s story in their lives.
Who can you encourage? Listen to? Share a word of kindness? Give a complement? We have the opportunity to make a small difference in someone’s life. And what’s more inspirational than that?