Each day I open my email to find an inspirational gem sent to me by a friend. Julian and I met at seminary where we had each enrolled to complete the doctoral program. Both of us had been in full time ministry for years when we decided to finish our graduate studies. Before our first class had ended, I realized that Julian, himself, was a gem and a source of inspiration. In the administration of his pastoral duties, he had elected to send out daily reflections to his congregants. He offered to include me in the emails; I gladly accepted. I have now been a recipient of his efforts for many years.
Pastor Julian is faithful day after day to communicate comforting, edifying, instructing, or entertaining tidbits to those of us on his list. I am sure that he must have to search for stories. He undoubtedly has to research, read, and explore. He is obviously proactive to gather his resources. He must continually ferret out the inspirational and dispense with the insipid, because he always selects items that serve to kindle positive motivation.
The English word inspire is based upon a Latin root that means to breath in. In the process of breathing, we inhale the air that surrounds us. That which we inhale has an immediate effect upon our physical condition by way of our lungs and blood stream. Our body instinctively warns us if the air is smoke-filled or pungent with a malodorous aroma and informs us to limit our inspiration.
The words, actions, and attitudes of those near us can also create an atmosphere in which we live. People can be critical, complaining, or condemning. They can fill the environment with talk that is injurious, insalubrious, and ineffectual. If we breathe in that type of atmosphere, our souls may become noxious; although we may not always immediately detect that we have inhaled contaminated soul air.
Naturally, we seek oxygen-rich, contaminate-free air. Spiritually, we should desire inspirationally-loaded, emotionally pollutant-free influences. Julian has made a practice of delivering just that kind of environment. The mind and soul thrives upon the inspirational words he conveys.
What about you? What about me? I cannot say that I am a Julian; however, I do believe his example is worth following. I wonder what my days would be like if the first thing I did each morning was to ferret out a bit of inspiration that I could distribute to others throughout the day. Maybe friends would seek me out just to get a breath of fresh air.