What if we all lived our adult lives based on the assumption that daily existence ought to be inspiring? I say adult lives, because I think the above assumption regarding each day’s possibility to inspire was something we already possessed as children. Think back to when you were little. Think back to when everything was crisp and intriguing. Think back to when everything was magical.
Think back to when blanket forts were castles and Sunday night car rides home from a relative’s house were opportunities to mentally wander as the Top 40 counted down on the radio. Think back to a dog-walking or lawn-mowing or lemonade-vending business that you started with your brothers or sisters or neighborhood friends. Remember how profoundly soul-cleansing it was to clean out desks and lockers on the last days of school as long summers beckoned you.
Think back to camping trips and days at the lake and grill-outs run by your dad. Think back to first dates and the first days of having a driver’s license and the exciting academic explorations that happened in college. It wasn’t always difficult to get relaxed and inspired and excited.
Is it difficult for you now?
I’m not telling you anything new when I say that life can get a little less inspiring as we age. Cynicism and fatigue can easily creep into our souls as unforeseen battles and heartbreaks crash into our days.
Unexpected problems hit us, and suddenly life can start to seem like a minefield. The next day isn’t about bright possibility anymore. The next day is about surviving work and finding enough money to pay a bill and hoping that the lab results and scans come back okay. Suddenly we can’t see excitement and easy joy all around us because a fog has descended over our vision.
Some people drink and take drugs or seek money and fame to momentarily lift the fog—to temporarily open a door back to that younger vision that saw little things as exciting instead of dull, the vision that didn’t see potential threats and heartbreaks everywhere—but then, inevitably, the fog returns; and it’s usually thicker than before.
There has to be a better way to clear the haze. There has to be something more stable, less Faustian. There has to be a spiritual remedy for the cynicism and learned weariness.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus asks you this: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion (among other things)? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.” (MSG)
I think that the term uninspired could be inserted somewhere into the questions above. Are you uninspired? Does life seem like a chore or a punishment instead of a gift? Has your energy and optimism been drained? Then seek out the spiritual remedy that Jesus spoke about: the metanoia, the change in vision. Get your life back by recovering that childlike heart that fluttered so easily. Get your life back by recovering that childlike excitement and faith. Let go of guilt, remember that worry and excessive striving aren’t necessary, and start to see life as inspiring again.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
The above quote is usually attributed to Albert Einstein, and it is one that came to my mind as I started thinking about the topic of inspiration for this week’s post. I think that the quote could be slightly tweaked and repurposed to say: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though no day is inspiring. The other is as though every day can be inspiring.”
Easy joy can be ours again. Life without excessive fear and worry can be ours again. When we focus on a spiritual perspective—an eternal perspective—then a brighter way of seeing things can be ours again.
When we seek out and recognize a spiritual connection to an inspired Creator and an eternal existence beyond our current three dimensions, then sickness and death don’t have to be all-consuming worries, and the petty concerns of a professional life certainly don’t seem as important anymore.
When we let go of guilt and accept forgiveness, then the fountain of youth has been discovered. We can forgive others ( and just as importantly ourselves), and we can recover the trust and self-love we so easily enjoyed as children. When we recognize that each day is a gift (not an appointment book to be filled), then we can enjoy play and relaxation again.
Life should be inspiring and enjoyable more often than not: let’s try living under that assumption this week and see where it gets us.
MICHAEL PRIEBE is the author of THE LOVELY GRIND: SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION FOR WORKDAYS (90 Devotions for Stress Relief & Personal Growth). The book releases June 6th and will be available in both print and Kindle versions. Sign up here to receive a special offer during release week.