55? Red delicious apples. 65? Granny Smith apples. 133? Bananas. I can still remember the codes for the produce that I learned when I was a cashier at the local supermarket as a teen. Heartland was a low-end supermarket that brought people from all over the city to do their food shopping. I spent a few years in high school working there as a cashier.
I was pretty good at moving the cash register along. But I always had it in the back of my mind that I had bigger things to eventually do. I had a lot of talent, and I knew I was going to a great college. The sky was the limit.
So, every once in a while when I left the break-room and passed by the admin office, I would poke my head in when no one else was there. I would look at the computer on the desk and pause, just look at it. Inside, I knew something. Even though I had never used a computer before, I knew I was going to be using one of those. I was going to do a lot of great things with computers.
Well, after years in engineering doing a lot with computers, I’m still doing a lot with computers in a whole new field. From websites to writing, from spreadsheets and programs to media and presentations, it still is the tool of my trade. It’s really a huge part of facilitating Barriers to Bridges, the effort and passion of the past 7 years of my life. And, who do you think friends and associates come to when they want computer work done for them? Now, I never got a degree in computers. But I had to put in a lot of time and work and resources into engineering and beyond to get to where I am with computers. My greatness is from an inspiration and many years of following through on it.
Many years ago I walked into a church and for the very first time, I heard the Word of God speak to me. When the priest was done with his preaching, I thought inside of me, “I want to do that!” A few months ago, I was in a parish preaching a homily for a mission appeal. The priest in the Mass said to everyone there, “That is the best appeal I have heard in my 35 years as a priest.” On that day in the church, I couldn’t have stood in front of a crowd of people and impressed everyone. It took a lot of time and work and resources – it cost me a whole lot – to be able to stand in front of people and give to them the same thing I myself got all those years earlier. It came from an inspiration and many years following through on it.
I have come to learn that you need two things to do inspiring things in life, to do the things we are made to do. You need inspiration. And you need a long time following through on it.
God puts something inside us when He makes us, something that knows His call. When you notice an inspiration in your heart, that is something special. Let it catch your attention, let it move and animate you, give it space to emerge and mature. Just keep coming back to it, and nurture it to growth. If it’s fallen asleep, you can see if it can reawaken. Because you have the seeds of doing something inspiring in your life.
You have an inspiration.
You only need a long time following through on it.
You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised. (Heb 10:36)