A Christian Science perspective.
We have all stood before a beautiful building, watched a play, or listened to a concert, and been lifted to a vision beyond our everyday lives.
Although I appreciate the effort, discipline, and sheer fortitude it takes to accomplish such works, it’s often the inspiration behind these works that moves me. When I’ve experienced that feeling, I’ve found that it in turn inspires me, and helps me see that inspiration is available to everyone.
Even if you’re not designing a building or writing a play, your home or work tasks and decisions probably demand inspiration as well as effort and time. Without it, activities, including prayers, can become routine. Inspiration is the divine influence of Spirit, God, that moves within one’s thought – perhaps at a time of prayer – and, for me, indicates that the things I’m doing are not merely for material ends. Inspiration moves within the heart to reveal something more about life as completely spiritual. It glorifies God and God-given qualities instead of mere human effort that fluctuates in its strength and capacity. Divine inspiration is the communication from God that lights and leads the way. It is sometimes surprising, always reliable.
We can pray to God to reveal the inspiration that is inherent in us although it seems hidden at times. Since Spirit has created us, we are wholly spiritual. Spirit communicates its love and guidance, and prayer opens the way for inspiration in the form of tangible and pure spiritual desires, aspirations, and motives. These forward the understanding of our true spiritual nature and also bring us a right sense of companionship, abundance, home, and health that fulfills our needs.
A number of years ago I saw the movie “Wings of Desire.” It was the story of an angel who wanted to become human. Although angels were portrayed as people, for me the characterization lifted comfort and compassion to something more permanent and universal. The angels were a loving, tender presence, invisible to those they were helping. Suddenly something would change in the people. Their faces went from sadness to a smile, or from a look of fear to one of hope. I found it was a wonderful portrayal of how someone can change through comfort or inspiration acting on human thought.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, described angels in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” as “God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality” (p. 581).
The Bible offers many examples of angelic thoughts that guided individuals to safety and health. One is the angelic thought that guided Joseph to take Mary and their child, Jesus, to Egypt for safety, when King Herod was looking to kill him. They followed this inspiring direction that kept Jesus safe. Another angel thought told Joseph that it was safe for them to return home. This guidance, as well as other examples in both the Old and New Testaments, shows God’s presence with us, and the inspiration it brings.
Even in Gethsemane, just prior to the crucifixion, Luke’s Gospel states that as Jesus prayed for guidance, “there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him” (22:43). Surely this helped him fulfill his purpose to lift the humanity of his day as well as that of today to an understanding of spiritual existence under God’s love.
Divine communications always lead toward the development of good that moves our lives in a progressive direction. Following the inspiration that God gives arrests human will that resists following this lead. It also silences skepticism and incredulity about anything different from what the material senses are saying.
As we accept our God-given qualities of goodness, intelligence, strength, and purity, they uplift our thoughts and reveal God’s presence and power in whatever we’re doing – from the most mundane tasks to those that are life-enhancing.
God’s inspiration is available every moment to govern and lead the way. As we respond to its uplifting influence, we catch the vision of God’s plan of unending goodness present for us now and always.