Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sometimes Inspiration Catches Us Unaware

There are times I can stand on top of a mountain top and not sense inspiration. 

There are times when I can stand on a crowded city sidewalk with pedestrians bumping into me and feel the enveloping power of Jesus and story.

You too? Weird, huh?

Doesn't it seem like we can try so hard to call up inspiration and yet feel so empty? Without a puff of an idea. A thought. A word. 

Other times we are bowled over by something so small that it mushrooms into the perfect book?

So, story time: Last month I went to Israel with a tour group. With all my heart I wanted to have a spiritual experience, not a touristy--souvenir--bragging experience. You know, inspiration. I was kinda leery because this trip was hubby's idea and it should have been mine too...but it wasn't. He wanted a historical trip. I wanted a fulfillment of "the trip to Israel." Friends asked how I felt about going. All I could say was I felt like I was standing on one side of a closed door with Israel on the other. I don't know. I can't see it. I have no clue.

The flight to Germany alone was incredibly long. I couldn't sleep. I was cramped. I wanted to wiggle my legs. I was thirsty. I'd been awake for 25 hours. 25 cranky hours. And I didn't know what I was doing. 

THEN The plane decelerated. I opened the window shade and saw land on the east side of the Mediterranean. It was Israel. I blinked my eyes and looked again. This was Israel.

I grabbed my camera, shot photos, poked my husband and pointed. Look! Israel.

Then I realized.

I was going to Israel.

I would see places Jesus went. I would see, hear, smell, touch, taste, breathe in Israel!

On my own I could not have begun to imagine the magnitude of this trip even with all I had been told ahead of time. A Palestinian Christian, a very godly and historically trained man, was assigned to our group. As we drove to each place, he'd pick up the microphone and say, "Remember in the Bible where we are told..." he then would point to the area around us. This is where it took place.

Then I knew I was in Israel. The place where godly men and Jesus, the Son of God walked.

Photo by Mary Vee, the setting for the Good Samaritan
The tour guide merged historical and cultural information to make Bible events so vivid for us. One day the bus drove away from the rich green valleys to the dessert. The guide pointed and said, "This is where Jesus set the Good Samaritan story. See the desert and the hills? No man should have walked by himself in a place like this. Thieves could hide in so many places. There is no water. No shade. What was he doing here? 

"But the Good Samaritan didn't ask that question. Instead he helped the man."

I could write pages more on what our tour guide revealed to us. How he opened the images and words of the Bible stories and made them real. How God used the things the guide said to touch our hearts and bring God praise.

When I came back home I was asked which place meant the most to me. I thought long and hard considering the many places we visited. The answer would be the same as if I had walked through a beautiful garden where flowers bloomed along the walkways and trees blossomed filling the air with fragrance. Could one spot be picked as the best? No because each inch had its own unique inspiration. God's story infused.

That's when I realizedI that inspiration comes not by my asking, nor by my desire, but by my openness to engage in what is in front of me.

What better time than Passion week to receive inspiration.

1. You'll find it in nature.
2. You'll find it in people.
3. You'll find it in worship.
4. You'll find it in music.
5. You'll find it in Scripture.
6. You'll find it in family.
7. You'll find it in art.
8. You'll find it with your eyes closed or opened.
9. You'll find it in the air you breathe.
10. You'll find it in a baby's giggle.
11. You'll find it in colors.
12. You'll find it in clouds.
13. You'll find it away from the computer.
14. You'll find it in cooking.
15. You'll find it in the mail.
16. You'll find it in a cemetery.
17. You'll find it in a flag.
18. You'll find it above you.
19. You'll find it under you.
20. You'll find it around you.
21. You'll find it inside you.

Inspiration is waiting for you walk away from concerns, worries, trepidation, doubt, and negativity and engage in what God has for you.

I can't wait to read your comment(s)!

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Mary Vee -  Rock climbing, white-water rafting, zip lining, and hiking top Mary's list of great ways to enjoy a day. These activities require lots of traveling, which is also tops on her list. For some crazy reason, the characters in Mary’s young adult mystery/suspense fiction stories don’t always appreciate the dangerous and often scary side of her favorite activities. Unbelievable.

Mary studies marketing and writing skills, and pens missionary and retellings of Bible stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids. She has been a finalist in several writing contests.

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Glynis said...

What a wonderful trip you must have had! I love what you've shared here because I totally agree with it, but I don't always leave myself open to seeing the inspiration around me. I often make myself too busy and too distracted to see what's here in front of me. Inspiration all around. I like that.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey, Glynis.
Yeah, I do the same thing. That is what makes moments like this so incredible. Revelation about inspiration. :)