Thursday, April 1, 2010

the one who inspires.

Following the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 82nd Academy Awards, one word has really stuck out to me these past two months. The word that has been on my mind and on my heart is: inspiration.

Watching the heart-warming clip of Alexandre Bilodeau’s Olympic journey for the very first time was certainly one of the moments I remember most from this year’s Winter Games. The gold medal winner got his inspiration from his older brother, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age. Even though doctors told him that he’d lose his ability to walk before he reached his teens, Frederic Bilodeau continues to walk at the age of 28. That, my friends, is inspiring. And then you have characters like Jon Montgomery who openly encourages mothers across the nation to allow their children to pick up the sport of skeleton. Perhaps he will be the inspiration of future athletes. At the Academy Awards, as Sandra Bullock gripped the first golden statue of her career, she applauded fellow nominee Meryl Streep for being the actress she looked up to all these years. In the same hour, we witnessed for the very first time, a female winner for the category of best director. Kathryn Bigelow has now put into place the launching pad for up and coming female directors.

It seems like wherever you find accomplishment, there you will also find inspiration. Whether you’re an Olympic athlete, movie star, or simply a student, we always remember the person or people that helped us “get there.”

Who is your inspiration?

I’m quite sure that I’m not the only who has ever stood in front of the bathroom mirror with a toothbrush or comb and tried to recite my very own acceptance speech. I think that sometimes it’s a good idea to really take the time and recall the people in your life that have inspired you.

I think it’s a funny thing how a lot of individuals thank God in their acceptance speeches. In no way am I saying that I wouldn’t thank God. It just seems that whenever people thank God, it’s almost as if it was to satisfy some form of hidden religious agenda. Being the cynical person that I am, I will now choose not to judge. Instead, I will now get to the core of this post.

There are numerous people that we look up to, numerous people that we aspire to be. Maybe it’s a favourite actor or athlete, an accomplished family member, or a devoted Christian. But as Christians, I wonder how often we look to Christ as our inspiration – as someone who has paved the way for us to be successful. How often do we desire to be just like him? How often do we look at his life, the way he lived it, and truly have the desire to live just like he did – flawlessly, excellently, lovingly, sacrificially, humbly?

[Philippians 2:5-11]
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I believe that this passage provides a very accurate description of the life that Jesus lived. It also provides the necessary blueprints for us as Christians to follow in His footsteps. How many of us can truly “make ourselves nothing?” Perhaps this is a challenge that we should consider taking up.

Who are you inspiring?

I’m guessing that Frederic Bilodeau didn’t inspire his brother at one specific moment, but rather he inspired his brother throughout the course of his life. He inspires him every day. And that’s what inspiration is all about. It’s not about one flashy moment, but about consistency.

Matthew 5:14 remarks that “we are the light of the world.” As Christians, part of our role is to bring the light of Christ to the areas of darkness in this word. And this is not for us. We’re not seeking to bring glory to ourselves, but to Christ. When others look at us, what do they see? Do we, as Christians, live like we’re inspired by our Creator, by our King, by our Lord and Saviour? Or do they simply see Dan, the kinesiology student at Waterloo? As Christians, we have the ability to inspire the world. We have the ability to inspire a generation of young Christians. But this process cannot merely be accomplished within a moment of glory and fame. It cannot simply be remarked during some acceptance speech. We must live it. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week.

Focus your gaze heavenward. Seek Christ and you will find Him. And then live a life inspired by Jesus.

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