THE challenge with inspiration is that it seems to come and go. Those flashes of brilliance that break through the humdrum of daily living and carry us to heights of excellence appear so unpredictable that we may think of inspiration as a capricious visitor rather than as a reliable friend. Recently, however, I started a job where I needed inspiration to be more dependable than that. The work simply couldn't be done without inspiration. There was no way to crank out mechanically what I needed to do, no way to manufacture intellectually the ideas. And, since others were depending on me for the results of this work, I couldn't just wait until inspiration took a fancy to me.
That's when I remembered a favorite Bible verse. It's from Job: ``There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.'' As I thought about what this verse meant, I saw that because inspiration belongs to God and because man is the inspired idea of God, man is never separated from the inspiration he needs. Man is the expression of God, and he has, innate to his being, all the understanding, wisdom, intelligence, creativity, and beauty that God is forever causing him to express. It meant a great deal to me to think of man as reflecting inspiration.
As I continued to pray about my need for reliable inspiration, I remembered how constantly inspired Christ Jesus was. He always seemed to know what to say or do, how to proceed, and how to heal and help others. His life and example radiated inspiration, but Jesus made it clear that the inspiration wasn't personal. He admitted freely that he couldn't do anything of his own ability but accomplished everything through God's ability.
I began to see that it must be Christ, God's spiritual idea of manhood, that is the ``spirit in man.'' Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness.''
Since the Christ-spirit is unvarying, the messages of inspiration must also be invariable. When we turn to God, the divine source of inspiration, we freely and constantly receive the messages that God is pouring out to us through Christ. These ideas of joy, love, peace, patience, wisdom, allow us to be receptive to the ideas we need, to carry on with our everyday activities.
Mrs. Eddy describes how God's inspiration works in these words in her Miscellaneous Writings: ``God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies.'' As we respond to spiritual inspiration from God, we act and think in ways that bring this inspiration to bear on our activities. A consciousness that is fearless, joyous, open, unlimited, receptive, trustful, and pure is also ready to accept needed ideas -- just as an open and relaxed hand is ready to catch a ball.
This is exactly what began to happen for me! In proportion as I turned to God as the source of all inspiration and listened to the Christ voicing good to my thought, I was inspired and receptive to the flow of ideas for my work. And flow they did!
Yes, there are still times when the inspiration seems to dwindle, but now I know that I don't have to wait on the whim of chance to have it restored to me. I know that anyone who comes into line with his true source, God, can experience the affluence of God's inspiration.