While we were out surfing yesterday my friend asked me ‘so as a pastor how do you stay inspired?’
That’s an interesting question. As happens when you are surfing I didn’t get to answer it for about 10 minutes as he caught a wave, then I did and by the time we were both sitting back in the line up I had had enough time to reflect on a genuine response.
‘I don’t.’ I said.
I realised he had made an assumption about either me or ‘pastors’, that we live in a constant state of ‘inspiration’ or some kind of fiery passion.
What I could offer was a different perspective on what I believe a mature faith looks like.
‘I don’t live in a constant state of inspiration, but I do live with a deep conviction about who God is, who I am to him and out of that it shapes how I live my life. Sometimes I feel ‘up’, sometimes pretty average and sometimes flat, but the conviction is what sustains me rather than inspiration. I guess the parallel that comes to mind is that of marriage. The buzz of the dating days is gone, and while there are plenty of great times there is also a commitment that goes beyond the ‘rush’ of romance. I can honestly say that I love my wife much more now than I did 20 years ago – more than I ever thought was possible even, but my understanding of love has grown and changed’
I doubt any of us live perpetually inspired lives – not in the sense I refer to it above, but if we stay in the relationship (with God) long enough then we develop enough substance to sustain us through the good and the bad times.
That said I love ‘being inspired’ and I love to see others ‘inspired’. I’m just conscious that sometimes we can hold that up as an ideal and then people can either fake it to make it, or feel inadequate if they are willing to be honest and acknowledge that sometimes life is pretty ordinary.