In-spir-ation: finding the spirit to go on.
Over the years in community development, I’ve noticed some drop away, and some keep on going. Sometimes the circumstances are legitimate, but sometimes all things are equal and yet only one has the spirit to keep going. What’s the difference? One has the in-spiration.
It can be discouraging and disillusioning, when governments are obtuse, when friends abandon you, when others just don’t get it, and injustice keeps grinding on despite our best efforts. After a while you can be so battered that you just stop. The pain isn’t worth it. How do you get the spirit to keep on going?
This kind of resilience is psycho-spiritual. It’s not just a matter of knowledge & education. It’s a different way of being in the world.
The kind of WORLD we want to live in, we all pretty much agree on.
That comes from the ACTIONS we need to do to make it a better world.
Which come from the VALUES we have that point us in the right direction,
together with enough MOTIVATION and OPPORTUNITY to get off our butts and do it.
But we also need the SPIRIT to prompt, guide, and keep us going.
This ‘spirit’ can profoundly shape our values. It can restore us, strengthen us, show us new ways to survive, alter our expectations so that we’re not so needy, more open-handed and free in the work. It’s related to the conscience, but more than that. It nudges us beyond our own interests.
I believe that for me, the Spirit that takes me beyond my own limits, is the living, dynamic, actual Spirit of Christ within me. It’s pretty powerful (the same Spirit that rose Christ from the dead!) Yet it’s pretty gentle (not overwhelming or pushing me. Gently leaving the choice to me.)
Most of the people I see who voluntarily keep going in good, sacrificial directions, have this in-Spir-ation.