Although I keep telling myself that I no longer subscribe to notion that you need to feel good before you need to do good, I find that I still crave motivation. I still look for inspiration. And I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, but I am starting to consider that this is probably how we operate as human beings.
But from what I’ve been experiencing, especially as of late, it’s not as easy to motivate yourself. It isn’t so easy to find inspiration. Now, I don’t know if this is just because all sorts of outside influences would paint both motivation and inspiration as elusive, and as explosive as they are elusive, or if that’s really how it goes. But I know one thing’s for sure: there are seasons when they are present in our hearts and minds, and there are seasons when we can’t seem to feel them. Now to the latter, is it easy as just saying that motivation and inspiration aren’t present? Or can we say that it’s the presence of something else in our minds that isn’t pushing us out of bed in the morning?
There was one time at church, specifically when we weren’t given the freedom to develop our own messages as Senior Pastors, where the overall theme suggested to each and every one of us to preach at one point was centered in vision. Apparently someone somewhere out there absolutely loved what Simon Sinek had to say, particularly about “‘knowing your ‘why'” – the ‘why’ could apparently be translated to your vision, which apparently could play a big part in what gets you motivated, and what keeps you inspired.
First of all, I never liked Simon Sinek, because what he had to say got people here in church suddenly categorizing people as ‘millenials’, and automatically made the assumption that if you were born within a certain period of years, you were automatically prone to acting precisely the way Mr. Sinek pointed out. To be honest I don’t know if I hate Mr. Sinek for making such an insinuation (and even if he didn’t say those exact words, I still have reason to believe that he’s a tool – the guy is up there with all these other self-help gurus who love to help themselves), or if I hate the people his poison has touched, for being so deluded to finally find ‘scientific backing’ to pin the blame of everything on an entire generation.
Second, I was on to these people giving the themes for preaching. I mean, sure, part of me does believe that they had the best intentions, but to me, I saw it as some people trying to push their own ideals and their agendas into the pulpit, where Christ and Christ alone was supposed to be preached. It was a subtle way to share Jesus+ – You know, Jesus plus Prayer. Jesus plus Fasting. Jesus plus Evangelism and Missionary Work. Nowadays it’s more subtle but the pattern is still there. You have Jesus, and sure, that’s all that you need, but it’s expected of you to be excellent and world-class in your worship music. Jesus plus Leadership Principles. Jesus plus Investment Strategies.
I mean, come on. Okay, there’s obviously nothing wrong with any of that, but the moment you try to push it into the same pedestal where Christ and Christ alone deserves to be, well, don’t expect me to follow your lead. Let me clarify: Because of Christ and His finished work, we pray, fast, evangelize, go forth as missionaries; we worship, not necessarily to the highest standards that this world enforces and expects, but we worship out of the overflow of our hearts, which are naturally in awe – again, of Christ, and what He has done. Because of Christ and His finished work we overflow with Leadership Principles and Investment Strategies – I mean, it doesn’t even have to be stuff so grandiose! Christ in us overflows us to do all He built us to do, at in times He has ordained – and it isn’t always about rescuing the elderly off of the top floor of a towering inferno! No, come on… Christ in us would probably have us go as subtle as smiling at a stranger, or just smiling as you allow someone to cut you off in traffic. We’re heroes in these small things, paying homage to the REAL hero who saved our souls!
Sorry I wanted to say all that before I kept on going. Anyway, yeah, they had us talking about vision at one point. And I do remember sharing, that if we had trouble, say, developing or recalling our vision, or if we had trouble bringing the vision to manifest into our realities, mind linked to body to move… then, no matter how we figure with whatever vision we come up for ourselves, or whatever vision others push on us, let’s go back to the One who gave us sight to begin with – That is, Christ Jesus. In our remembering the Man who made the blind see, let us allow His Spirit to minister to us, to see what He wants us to see.
And… again, it doesn’t really have to be some earth-shattering idea. It doesn’t have to be some grand vision.
To be honest, I didn’t think I would go down this route today, as I thought about this. I thought I’d go another route, right before I started to talk about vision and Simon Sinek (yech). There was a lot I added now, between the mention of motivation and inspiration, and this next line. Let me try to continue and see where this goes.
Throughout this day, I’ve allowed a thought to ‘marinate’ in my mind – that I should prepare automation just in case motivation is not present.
The mindset I had while thinking about this is that I wouldn’t just be slacking off while I wasn’t feeling motivated. The ‘automation’ I prescribed for myself is nothing more than a schedule of stuff I would do on the daily, ensuring that I would have some sort of progression as the day ends… and no matter what I feel when I wake up, or even as I lay myself down to sleep, at least I’d know that we’ve made some progress.
I guess what I want to say now is that I have Christ with me, and I am with Him. He has guaranteed that He will NEVER leave me – and while I follow this up by saying He will never leave me no matter what I’ve done or no matter what has been done to me, I will say that I have Christ, and He has me, 100% of the time, no matter what I’m feeling; He is with me, as close as He could ever be, whether I am in touch with my ‘vision’ or not; I may totally have forgotten what visions I used to have, sure… but what matters is I have the One who has given me sight, and He will never leave me.
And so I soldier on. I suppose I will continue to determine what I would schedule myself to do. It’ll all be in the lines of building, training, and R&D – a mindset I’ve developed from all the gaming I’ve been doing. Buzzwords: Cybersecurity. Data Science. Cryptocurrency (well, maybe a little less on this, much less time and resources than I’ve been putting in recently). Ministry. Boxing. Naval Ravikant mentioned that we should have 3 hobbies: one to make us money, one that would keep us fit, and one that would keep us learning. I’d like to think my five (current) buzzwords cover all three.
Is it time to fire up Excel again and come up with a spreadsheet? Probably. And if I do it’ll be in preparation for the next week.
But for now, we meditate. Not necessarily on automation. Not necessarily on motivation. Not on vision. But on the One who gave us sight.
Perhaps, in His wisdom, we would find what we are truly looking for.
God bless us all.
Beautifully written, so deep from you JB.
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You’re always welcome Sir.
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