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We can not help but have noticed the numerous stories of inspiration that are currently filling the TV screens, radio reports, newspapers and social media. From the millions of workers who are carrying on in their vital roles, the thousands who are volunteering for new community roles, right through to the now ‘famous’ Captain Tom and his charity fundraising efforts. Many people want to be like them, they give us hope and bring a smile of gratitude, that everybody is pulling together at a time when a helping hand is most needed. Inspiring stories lift our spirits and let us encounter the goodness of others.
And perhaps now is also a good opportunity to think about what it is that inspires me in my faith, my spiritual life and my relationship with God?
There is no reason why the same people that we think of from above can’t also be our spiritual inspirations. The caring professions, the service providers, teaching and education, business and commerce, and even those in political and governance roles, everybody has the potential to be a spiritual inspiration for me. But, equally this means that I have the potential to be an inspiration to others. That might be a bit of a scary thought, and we might also think it a touch arrogant or egotistical, but through the power of our baptism, filled with the Holy Spirit, we are called to go out and bring Christ into the world by living our daily lives through and for Him.
Everybody has role models. As children it is most often parents, siblings and other close relatives. As we grow we become aware of other influences, sports stars, music, politics, fashion, whatever it might be, but that is where we take our inspirations that shape our lives. It is a human trait to want to be like others, to follow good example and to succeed in all that we do. In difficult times we might ask ourselves, “What would ……… do?” Or “How would …….. answer that?”
In a recent documentary on the television, the question was posed, “Is Jesus your role model?”
When I reflected on that question, I tried to ask myself how successful I would be at answering it? Of course the answer should be a resounding, Yes! But how successful am I at living up to my inspiration, my aspiration and indeed my calling?
I for one, am forever encouraged by the knowledge that God loves a trier, and when I don’t get it right, which is often, He still wants me to keep going and trying. That in itself is an inspiration.
How would you answer the role model question?
Deacon Ian Black