Ancient writers believed that INSPIRATION was a state of being filled by Spirit so that one’s thoughts and actions were divinely guided. While our modern definitions tend to be more down to earth, inspiration is still a lofty concept. The Random House dictionary calls inspiration an “animating action or influence,” while the World Dictionary defines it as “stimulation or arousal of the mind, feelings, etc., to special or unusual activity or creativity.” So inspiration is more than something that makes us feel good, it is something that causes us to act in ways above and beyond our normal realm of activity.
How often we feel inspired has a lot to do with how often we seek inspiration. I find that most parents, teachers, and counselors I know expect the teenagers in their lives to act as if they were inspired, while they themselves rarely show any trace of this vivifying force. Many of us who wear our tension and anxiety in our furrowed brows and clenched jaws demand certain behaviors of teenagers without modeling any motivation in the supposed fruits of those behaviors. What they hear is “You need to work hard so you’ll get a good job, make lots of money, and be happy,” while what they see is “Life is a never ending series of frustrations and hardships that keep us too busy to possibly notice whether we’re happy or not.” Why in the world would they follow our edicts when the results we’re modeling look completely undesirable?