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Mon Mar 10, 2014
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Sat Mar 08, 2014
It has been my experience that inspirations are brief, sporadic and rare. By inspiration I mean those moments where our souls are stimulated to a high level of feeling, thinking, and doing. I love those brief, sporadic and rare moments. I am addicted to the vitality I have, the love I feel, and the clarity of thought that occurs when I am inspired. I have tried for years to pay attention to these moments, to dig into them, excavate them, and figure them out.
What is it that inspires me? Who is it? What stirs my affection…for my wife? For my children? For life in general? This to me is one of the major ideas that demand an answer. To solve this arduous riddle means more energy, richer life, deeper relationships and greater self-awareness. Several years ago I started applying this line of thought to my relationship with Christ. Instead of asking myself what inspired me to be a good man (what’s that anyway?) I started asking what stirs my affections for Christ. What, when I’m doing it, when I’m around it or dwelling on it creates in me a greater hunger for, passion for and worship of Christ and His mission?
The first list was a strange one. It looked something like this:
- Early mornings and hot coffee
- The writings of John Owen (at the time it was The Mortification of Sin)
- Listening to Lauren sing
- Walks through graveyards (I know this is weird but it reminded me of mortality)
- The book of Hebrews
- Robust dialogue on ecclesiology or missiology
- Sermons by John Piper
- Angst-filled music
I also wrestled with and paid attention to what robbed me of affection for Christ. What, when I was doing it or spending time around it created in me an unhealthy love for this world? The list was a strange one because the majority of things that robbed me of zeal for Christ and his mission were morally neutral things. It looked something like this:
- Watching too much TV and spending too much time online
- Staying up late for no reason
- Following sports too closely
- Being physically lazy
- Empty conversations (talking for hours about nothing)
For the last few years I have updated this list often. In fact it has changed quite a bit. I want to pay attention to life. I want to be keyed in to what feeds my zeal for our great God and King and what kills that zeal. My hope is that I could flood my life with Christ-exalting, worship-creating things and avoid anything that would rob me of that.
What Inspires You?
Better yet, what stirs your affections for Christ, truth and holiness? If we can fill our lives with the things that stir our affections and avoid and flee those things that rob us of inspiration, we have a better shot at dwelling deeply. What and who inspires you? Stirs you? What presses you into holy places? What robs you of joy and vitality? What robs you of your affection for Christ and holiness?
Matt Chandler's posts are re-published with permission from his blog