I have a favorite movie — Invictus — which portrays the beginnings of Nelson Mandela’s presidency of South Africa and his budding relationship with the captain of the Rugby team, Francois Pienaar. In the movie, Mandela invites Pienaar to his office to discuss leadership. He asks him about his philosophy on leadership, to which Pienaar says that he leads by example, which Mandela agrees with. Then Mandela asks him further “But how to get them to be better than they think they can be…Inspiration, perhaps. How do we inspire ourselves to greatness when nothing less will do. How do we inspire others around us?”
Mandela then shares he had a favorite poem that inspired him and kept him going during difficult times. Mandela’s example and words continue to inspire Pienaar throughout the movie, and a positive transformation in thought and character and the team is led to the win of the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.–William Ernest Henley
What was this power that leds to forgiveness, reconciliation, unity, and healing? It was clearly a Divine impetus that led to the transformation of thought — to free themselves from self-imposed limitations and enabled them to surprise even themselves with the spirit of freedom, courage, unity, and victory.
Where do we get this inspiration and how can we feel inspired on a consistent basis? It is the Holy Spirit that communicates to us exactly what is need each moment. We have Scripture, hymns, mentors and other spiritual writings that are helpful. In addition to those, I have found praying for myself — quietly communing with God — each day to be so valuable. Praying in this way impels us to stay fresh, inspired and connected to God each day.
Jesus is a great example of this as he often withdrew from crowds to commune with God — to receive the inspiration needed to continue his walk with God. We even have the account of his visit with Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration who, no doubt, gave him the needed inspiration and insight needed to continue on his journey with confidence and courage (Matthew 17).
Inspiration is like a “refueling stop” — it charges our batteries, connecting us with God, and giving us needed renewal and freshness. This is the basis for feeling healthy mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Starting our day in communion with God opens our thought to exceed humanly limiting projections, and unites us with infinite possibilities for good just like it did with this underdog South African rugby team. Daily inspiration and prayer is a foundation for impelling lasting individual progress and collective transformation. Enjoy a stop at your “refueling” station today and everyday!
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:2 NLT