I love to be inspired
from theDesk of…
by Dave Hudson, Lt. Colonel –
I love to be inspired. I think most people do. Inspiration comes in many forms—for instance, watching someone do something special for another without fanfare. Watching a father play with his child is always a slam-dunk with me. As a matter of fact, seeing anything that makes a child laugh is a direct hit on my heart.
Two years ago in Hawaii I ran my first marathon. There was a significant problem with the official timing device. Since many people run the Honolulu Marathon as a qualifying run for other, more prestigious runs, like Boston, many runners were very frustrated. Someone asked me if I was upset about the timing errors. I told them, “Only if it took about an hour off my time.” My goal was a simple one: finish. I read the next day about the last person to finish the race. It was a young man with Down’s syndrome. It took him over14 hours, but he did not quit. What an encouragement! I was inspired that he didn’t quit, in spite of having every reason to do so.
I have the privilege of visiting Salvation Army programs around the territory. Everywhere I see people facing incredibly difficult challenges, including addiction, abuse, unemployment, homelessness, and many more. They have myriad reasons to give up; to quit; however, they choose not to. They inspire me. They make me want to face my challenges head on and keep going.
The Christmas season is right around the corner. Christmas is all about inspiration. It is a time, more than any other, where our focus shifts toward others. We let them know that they are loved and cared for. Christmas is God modeling his love for us with the gift of a Baby in a manger, which is something he certainly did not have to do. That is the ultimate inspiration.
Inspiration is a precious gift we can give others. It is amazing what a kind word or an effortless deed will do to lift the spirit of another. Nothing communicates our Christian values more than the way we treat others. As a wise teacher from my days at the College for Officer Training said, “You teach some by what you say; more by what you do; however, you teach most by who you are.”
Inspiring and encouraging others was a very high priority for the Apostle Paul. Throughout his writings, he used phrases such as, “encourage one another,” “treat others with kindness,” and “build up one another.” To the church at Philippi, he wrote:
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:1-4, NIV).
We live in a cynical world. Daily headlines are depressing. The world situation seems to be getting worse by the day. There is plenty out there to bring about discouragement. However, inspiration is there as well. It is all around us. You can see it every day. Look around and you will see simple, ordinary people doing very extraordinary things. If you look you will see people who have every reason to quit choosing not to. Watch carefully and you will see inspiration coming in simple ways.
As a side note, I believe it takes less energy to be kind to others than not to be. Also, I have heard that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile. So, may I encourage you to relax, kick your feet up and be kind. You will inspire the majority and shock the rest.