When asked for at least the second time ‘Do you have your web update ready?’ I responded ‘No, I just don’t feel inspired to write anything.’ Her response back to me was ‘Maybe you need to write about not being inspired!’! I must admit I had to chuckle at that suggestion—feeling her gentle nudge to be faithful. So here I am!
To feel inspired is an energy that creates movement. Thoughts come in quick succession. The body moves as if the wind was carrying it. There is a flow. Life is filled with light and lightness and all is well with the world. There is an ease that is not born from effort.
My experience of non-inspiration is so different. There is a sense of heaviness, a lethargy or effort with seemingly very little to show for it. As I look back on the source of this non-inspiration today, I remember it is rooted in loss. I lost confidence in a nursing home whose major department heads have all moved on to other jobs. My mind kept asking why this was happening. My heart went out to those whose lives are critically dependent on the care of these men and women. I felt betrayed by their departure and lost as to what I could do productively. I also remembered a young pastor whose church members are resistant to her leadership. They want her to know ‘It is our church; all we want from you is Sunday service’. Again, my heart went out to her and to the people in that faith community who are hurting and projecting their pain through their attempt to control their pastor.
Where is the Breath of God? I spoke with someone this afternoon and invited him to stay grounded in his life of challenge. As I spoke those words, I heard them for myself. In the times of strife or loss or disappointments the best we can do is keep moving with the next thing in our lives. In being faithful, God breathes within us the strength and courage to keep on. In a book we are pondering The Third Chapter Sara Lawrence- Lightfoot makes a distinction between change and transformation. For her change is what happens outside of ourselves whereas transformation is an interior experience.
When we can’t feel the Spirit’s nudge we are called to a step in faith. For me, it is to show up for the web update (prompted by someones nudge), to show up for the work I am called to do and to be present for the people who are part of my daily life.
I recall a couple of years ago one of the seminarians struggled with what to write in his weekly editorial. He simply said what he could and entrusted the response to those who read it. Today I do the same. We don’t always feel inspired, but we are not called to only act when we feel inspired, we are called to fidelity.