Inspiration that uplifts and transforms

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

Guidance and motivation

How do you really know when God is guiding you?

God’s guidance ALWAYS includes a sense of peace and never a sense of limitation or fear. In fact, we should NEVER let fear motivate us even if society is saying that we need to.
Truth and Love can be and are the real motivating powers in man.1

Divine guidance is speaking to you and motivating you to act and think rightly — the highest, spiritual way — in every situation.

Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage . . .2

Sometimes we may feel we lack something —  a career, a home, happiness, a family — but thinking that is focused on what is lacking is never from God.
Don’t compare! It may be tempting to look around and see what others have, but we can rejoice for them — rejoice in all the diverse ways that God is expressed in your colleagues and friends. Comparison will never let us feel abundance.
God is infinite so Her qualities are magnified in infinite ways. God is expressed in unique ways in each of us. Comparing will limit our ability to hear the “gentle whisper” of God telling us what is right and needed for you.3

I have found 3 helpful resources in thinking about listening, motivation and guidance.

Guided by God
How can I learn to trust God more and hear His voice more clearly?
A Voice Within (available in the January 18 & 25 Christian Science Sentinel at your local Christian Science Reading Room; not online yet).

1Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 490

2Mary Baker Eddy, Pulpit and Press, p. 3

3Kings 19:12 New Living Translation