Seeds of Inspiration

July 18, 2015 DevotionRecovery  10 comments

There are times, a moment, when something so enormous cannot be ignored and yet times, a season, which run their course and very little seems out of the ordinary. While some events are akin to a massive highway-pileup on a foggy day others become nothing more than the distant sound of a firecracker, engine backfire or gunshot… who knows what that was? When you’re young, events and relationships play a significant role in determining the course of your life. I’ve witnessed how the loss of a parent placed a seemingly, happy family on the road to despair and how the personal attention of a thoughtful and caring teacher raised the timid to soaring altitudes.

Inspiration is something most people would agree helps move the sedentary, challenge the status quo, and create the next new thing. However, inspiration is something very few of us truly understand. If we did, we wouldn’t wait for it to happen upon us, rather we’d go looking for it as though it were hidden treasure or more specifically, we’d be asking for it as though it were candy.

Inspiration comes from the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe into” and derives from the greek origins of art, literature and science, which were carefully curated by the 9 muses of mythology and who had the ability to inspire greatness upon mere mortals. This act, in the greek was not just how things happened; “inspiration” but what happened; “enthusiasm!” The word in greek literally means being, in – god’s – essence. So, when the bible instructs us to, “Trust in the Lord with all of our heart and not to lean on our own understanding but in every way, acknowledge Him and he will direct our paths.” (Proverbs 3:5) we should then enthusiastically, embrace each moment big or small, significant or otherwise as though it can change everything.

This past week, I did something I have only done one other time in my life… I stood on the sidewalk, in normal street cloths and cheered on the competitors of a triathlon (Vineman 70.3). After all my years of racing, I’d hear from spectators how “inspiring” it is to watch a triathlon… Well, I looked for it. I even asked for it. Needless-to-say, it didn’t come to me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed being out there among friends, cheering on their accomplishments but it did very little to inspire or enthuse. Therefore, due to this, I knew one thing for sure. I wasn’t going to attend the awards ceremony. Having seen the winning times in my age group, I most likely would have won. So, seeing others get the prize (a wooden winebox with a bottle of La Crema, Russian River Pinot Noir or Chardonnay) would simply be too difficult to watch. So, Joy and I left the venue to do what we always do on Sunday afternoon post race… we headed into Healdsburg to visit the La Crema Winery tasting room and talk about the race and sip on their fantastic wines.

When we arrived we were instantly greeted at the front door and made welcomed by our very enthusiastic host, April. She instantly provided a place for me to sit and moved my crutches to a safe place. When she asked if we had ever visited La Crema before, I explained how coming to the tasting room after the race had become tradition for us over the years and even though I was unable to race this year we felt keeping this part of the day was important for my emotional recovery (wink, wink… nod, nod).  At this time Katelyn, another La Crema associate, came over to say hello. We both remembered each other from the previous year. Not seeing my crutches she asked enthusiastically, “Well, how’d it go?”
As I was telling her the story, April was setting up a custom tasting with the finest La Crema had to offer us to sample. After a brief but thorough explanation of our wines both April and Katelyn excused themselves so we could enjoy the wine and our conversation but promised to return with a few other “tricks up their sleeves!” To say we received VIP respect would be an understatement!
As Joy and I were finishing up the last few sips of their exclusive reserve (taken from the best nine barrels of each vintage) Both April and Katelyn approached us. “We want to give you something.” Joy and I looked at each other because they had already given us a great gift in their hospitality. “Because you weren’t able to race today and get your bottle of La Crema Pinot Noir, we want to give you some motivation for next year.” Then they placed a magnum of Russian River, Pinot Noir on the table with a hand written message on the bottle, “To Dan, La Crema Healer-in-Training. Cheers to next year!” In that instant, something profound was “breathed” into me. As the tears welled up in my eyes and my voice cracked with emotion trying to explain my surprise and gratitude… I was truly inspired.
While it may remain my responsibility to remember what happened and manage what is, I have found it is the pleasure of others to remind me of what will be. If I were completely honest about this; I would not want it any other way. When it comes to my past, I prefer only one voice thank you. When it comes to the choices I make today… less is more. However, for the future, give me the “Great cloud of witnesses who have gone before!” These are those cheering in the stands, applauding along the roads, waiting at the finish.
Our simple acts of thoughtfulness and generosity may have far greater implications were we to understand them as acts of enthusiasm and inspiration. The ability, as it were in the essence of God, to breath into another is not the task of the extraordinary or gifted. Rather, it’s placed in our unassuming, ordinary hands like seeds to be sown. Seeds, if left in our grip will do nothing but spread abroad can bring forth life.

10 comments to Seeds of Inspiration

  • Susan Clark Olver says:

    Wow! I don’t know what happened to you Dan, but that was beautiful.

    • Dan says:

      Thank you Susan. If you want to know in depth read back through the past 5 or so posts and you’ll have the detail. But short version. I broke my hip during a bike ride 5 weeks ago. I hope you’re doing well. Blessings!!

  • Larry B. says:

    Fantastic example of building others up! I’m glad you were the recipient. A kind word in due season is nothing to the soul!

    • Dan says:

      Thanks Larry!

  • I love and adore and want to memorize that last paragraph!

    • Dan says:

      Thank you Denise. You are a seed sower!

  • Elli T says:

    Another truly inspiring post. So enjoying following along on this road with you. You are a wonderful storyteller and bring so much insight to what could easily be missed on life’s journey.

    • Dan says:

      Thanks Elli. I really appreciate it. I will do my best to use this for the encouragement of others!

  • Sally says:

    Cheers to continued healing!
    Loved the story.
    Hugs to you and Joy!

    • Dan says:

      Thanks Sally! I appreciate you following along.

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