Dear Inspiration Seekers,
Couple of years ago, when we were traveling with my parents, I noticed that each morning, between taking blood pressure readings, my father would sit quietly reading some section of the scriptures. Some days this appeared to be a passage from one of the Epistles, other times a few Proverbs or Psalms. When he was finished, he put his pocket Bible away, and we went on with our day. After a couple of days, I decided to express my curiosity by asking what he had been reading.
For a few days, his reply was to identify the book, chapter, and verse. Then possibly, I might receive a recitation of the key verses. This did answer my question, but not my inquiry. Furthermore, my objective for asking was to initiate the opportunity to share ideas about whatever the text was.
After some thought, I came up with a new strategy, which was to phrase my question differently. The next morning, I asked, “What did you find inspiring about what you read.” I could not accurately report that we launched into a Joycian stream-of-consciousness dialogue about epiphanies and insights, though our subsequent conversations did seem about as disjointed as Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. We began to form a different language, which provided a little more personal perspective. The vacation progressed, and I continued to ask each day what he had found inspiring, whether from his scripture or other reading, or some activity we did that day. Linda and my mother played along with my attempts at dialogue, at least happy that we were not locking horns too often on theology or politics.
As we packed for our last day’s drive, my father gave me a book to read, “The Reason for God”. I filed it with other books from the vacation, thinking that if he had given this to me at the beginning of the trip, I might have read and discussed it as we went.
A few months later, my father planned to teach a Bible study class at church. I asked for the weekly outline for the class, which would read the letter to the Galatians. I then began, in my pre-blogging days, to send weekly e-mails to my father and a few others, with my “inspirations” from the reading. Occasionally, I would receive a response about my writing or the class’s discussions. About a year later, I worked my way down to the book, which he had given me at the end of the trip. After skimming it for the basic organization, I decided that as I read it, I would start another e-mail dialogue of “inspirations”. Thus, blogging was an easy conversion from sending out batch e-mails to those who enjoy reading and replying.
When I called my father to wish him happy Father’s Day this weekend, he mentioned that he has started teaching another Bible study class on the letter to the Romans. I am a few chapters and weeks behind apparently, but I hope to have the class outline soon. When I do, you can start reading and writing Inspiration blogs for the next dozen weeks or so.
I do not claim to be a Biblical scholar, nor one to dissect original language texts, as much as I enjoy understanding the origins of concepts. I will approach this more broadly, and tangentially often. I will speak from my opinion, with only that authority. For my readers, I do not ask you to agree with me, but only to listen, reflect, and join in the discussion, expressing your opinions and faith(s). Counter my themes with further tangents. The objective of inspiration is to breath deeply and to be nourished with the energizing oxygen, which surrounds us at all times. Inspiration is not something that occurs once or twice in one’s life, but should occur daily, at all times.
By the way, I never did figure out whether reading the scriptures in the morning affected my father’s blood pressure before and after his devotions.