It has been just three weeks since Thanksgiving, and thankfulness has lost its' place in the spotlight. In fact, the holiday hadn't even lived out its' full 24 hours before people turned their sights to what they could acquire in the Black Friday sales. This doesn't just occur with Thanksgiving, but with holidays throughout the year like: Christmas, Valentines Day, and even the American Independence day. This reference to how we treat holidays is just an analogy for something even more serious. Often times we treat moments of inspiration with the same disregard. It seems as though we treat moments of inspiration like social trends: we participate while they're occurring, and as soon as they're over we continue on to the next thing as though nothing happened.
I've discovered that it is easy to get caught in the emotions of a moment and become inspired to make a resolve to make a vast life change, or set a new goal and strive to achieve it. What is harder, however, is to start planting one foot in front of the other, and moving towards that goal. Many factors or events can create a moment of inspiration. Atmosphere, music, spending time with loved ones, a church service where the sermon moves you with its' relevance and the presentation by the minister, seeing someone accomplish something that is a goal of yours, or even seeing a performance where the art captures you, are some examples of things that can contribute to a moment of inspiration. Many times people leave that moment of inspiration with nothing more than a good feeling inside because once it was over they didn't act on their inspiration. You can't control how you're inspired, but you can control what you do with the inspiration.
So how can we avoid becoming complacent Christians, and complacent human beings? The answer lies in changing the way we think. Romans 12:2 shares "Be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind..." The mind is the station where inspiration is turned from potential energy to kinetic energy. If your thoughts become wrapped around your inspiration, your words will become wrapped around it, and eventually your actions. I've seen this principle demonstrated in my life through simple things. If I see a commercial for a great new entree at T.G.I. Friday's, I think about it all throughout that day. Eventually, I share it with my mother or father about how bad I want to try it, and I talk and dwell on it until I am able to physically pursue it. When the change occurs in our mind, it will transfer to our actions.
Pursuit of things becomes easier when our mindset meets inspiration and becomes the driving force of our action. For this to happen, we often have to change our perception of the things that would keep us from pursuing our goals. Instead of looking at thankfulness as just an attitude to have for one day, look at it as a lifestyle, and apply that "attitude" to your everyday routine. Instead of looking at past failures, mistakes, and goals with shame and regret, look at them as a part of your growing up experience, and use them as reasons why you should push toward a better future. Personally, as I look toward starting as a freshman at the University of Southern California on January 5th, I have changed my mindset. Instead of worrying about the difficult classes that I will encounter, or not making friends, or the pressures that come along with being a college student, I'm looking forward to the great opportunities that lay ahead for me to enhance myself, meet new people, get exposed to new environments, and most of all, obtain a college degree.
God gives us inspiring moments and situations in our lives for the purpose of pushing us toward production. Our job is not to waste inspiration, but use it to transform our mind so that our growth and progress as human beings is never stifled. The message is simple: the moment when you are inspired, is Day 1. After the hype and glory of your moment of inspiration, make a lifestyle change that will help you act on that inspiration on Day 2.
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