YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION
(Heb 10:24) And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.
I like the word “inspiration.” It means to animate or to have an uplifting affect upon someone. We speak in terms of how a movie was inspiring. How you heard that interview and the person inspired you. How you saw a breathtaking sunset and it had such a refreshing and elevating affect on you. Perhaps you can think of a person who really inspired you and influenced you and impacted your life and future. But did you know that you can be an inspiration to others to live for Christ? You might not know it but your life may be stirring someone right now to love and good works.
Recently we took the Mission Training School students to witness on the Huntington Beach pier. When we first planned this outreach, we had no idea what event would be going on there. It was the week of the Honda US Open of Surfing contest. The pier area was packed with people watching the event. We said a prayer and then walked down the pier looking for people to talk with about the love of Jesus.
But believe it or not it just wasn’t happening for me. The people seemed glued to the contest going on or else just caught up in the vibe. No one seemed interested in talking with strangers, especially about their souls. It was an atmosphere problem I was contending with or perhaps it was just my own fears and insecurities. (Funny how a pastor can feel comfortable teaching in the pulpit but then out of place evangelizing on the pier.) But anyway, that was my internal dissonance.
I looked over and saw some of the students engaging people. I was happy for them. But what about me? Why wasn’t it happening for me? Then I heard something over the loud speaker. The surf contest announcer was announcing that Bethany Hamilton was beginning to surf. Bethany Hamilton? No way. She’s the young competitive surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack off Kauai, Hawaii. She was lying flat on her board with her left arm dangling in the water. Little did she know that a 14-foot tiger shark was nearby. It ripped her arm off just below her shoulder. Her friends helped her back to shore, made a tourniquet out of a surfboard leash and rushed her to the hospital. That morning she lost 60% of her blood. Three weeks later she was back surfing. She taught herself how to surf with one arm and returned to competitive surfing. She gives all the credit to the Lord and goes around sharing her faith in Jesus Christ.
I looked over the side of the pier and watched her surf. She did a great job. Smooth turns. Great cutbacks. She took it all the way in. She got out and some people rushed up to take a picture with her. She was gracious and smiling. But more than that she was inspiring. Not only to the crowd but also to me. I felt inspired. I was lifted up. She had no idea the effect she had on me. I became animated to share my faith. I soon made a connection with someone and it went great.
And that’s the influence you can have on others. You’re probably making a difference more than you know. Your life. Your faith. People are watching. Let’s be an inspiration for Jesus!