I have two favorite definitions for the word "inspiration." The first is the obvious one that most people think of when they think of inspiration. It refers to that influence that causes a person to think or act a certain way. The other definition I like is a more scientific term that refers to the action of inhaling air into one's lungs.
The thing I like about both of these definitions is that I can understand perfectly how both definitions can apply to the same word. I think that, in some ways, the defintions mean basically the same thing. As a Christian, I believe that I am nothing more than animated dust--inspired dust. God has breathed in me, and that is the only reason I am able to breathe.
As a writer, I believe the breath of God is the inspiration behind everything else I do. I can't claim my writing ability as something I conjured up inside myself. In most cases, I can't even claim credit for a story idea. Every book I've written so far has been partly inspired by a literal dream--as in, I'd go to sleep and dream something that I've used as a story idea. A lot of more modernized, good happy little Christians are uncomfortable with the idea of God giving dreams and visions in this day and age. I guess I make people uncomfortable too, because I am okay with the idea of God giving me dreams and visions whenever He wants to.
I'm definitely okay with God breathing in me. He doesn't breathe in me the same way He breathes in others. There are many gifts, but one Giver. Writing isn't the only gift I have, but I can't deny that it's something I only possess because the Lord willed to give it to me.
It's kind of lame, but I first saw this quote on a "Piece of Flair" from that silly Facebook application. The quote reads: "God breathed the breath of life in me. When I write, I exhale." That silly "Piece of Flair" sums me up fairly well.
I also find it interesting that the word "expire" has some different/same definitions. It refers to the act of exhaling, of expelling air from one's lungs. And if one were to fail to breathe in again, that expiration would lead to another definition of expiration--death. At the same time, if someone were to somehow fail to expell air from one's lungs after breathing in, they would also expire. They would cease to live. And figuratively speaking, if we're not breathing as the Lord intended, then we're not really living--we've expired.
God breathed in us so that we would breathe. He inspires us and calls us to expire. We so often get all worked up over purpose and meaning in life. Well, I pretty much know the meaning of life. It's to live. It's to live abundantly to the glory of the One who breathes in us. All of us have different gifts, but we're all pretty much called to do the same things.
We are called to seek God and His Kingdom. We are called to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are all called to love our neighbor as ourselves. We're called to be peacemakers; we're called to be poor in spirit; we're called to be pure of heart. "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." -Micah 6:8. If we're doing those things and trusting the One who gives us breath, the rest is going to fall into place.
But after 30 years of breathing, I think I've finally figured out that God really likes me to exhale His breath through my writing. That's pretty much the purpose of this blog.