Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Carried Along by Jim Hart

Writing words begins with inspiration. When something jostles our spirit, and our hearts are deeply stirred, we start thinking of words. And the inspiration that has gripped us is squeezed out onto the page. And I doubt if we can vocalize those words better than we can write them down. Speech can be clumsy. Writing is graceful. Our hand says what our tongue longs to express, but cannot say out loud. That’s the power of inspiration.

Inspiration comes from many sources. Sometimes the most powerful inspiration comes from exposure to someone who has exercised some sort of influence on our life. Most times this person who has inspired us may never know of their effect on our life.

Chuck Smith passed away last weekend. I hope you recognize his name. His burden for young people to know Jesus, especially those outside of the social norm of the late 60’s and early 70’s – the hippies – caused a revival among a generation that was “looking for love in all the wrong places.” The L.A. Times, in his obituary, described him like this: “A key figure in the ascent of mega-churches, Chuck Smith brought an old-school Christian message to a generation of youths in the counterculture.”

It could be argued that Chuck Smith inspired the Jesus Movement all those years ago. Many of those young people that came to know Jesus through the ministry of Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel were musicians, and their new faith inspired them to write songs. And those songs inspired a new contemporary expression of faith that inspired worshipers in a way relatable to them. Calvary Chapel’s Maranatha! Music inspired the age of contemporary worship music. And so, in many ways, I have been inspired by Chuck Smith.

Inspiration can result in powerful words that bring about a powerful movement. Scripture was written by people inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Peter wrote about this inspiration as being “moved and carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The Apostle Paul affirmed that “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16).

The written word is one of the most powerful forces on Earth, especially when inspired. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, you can’t write without a source of inspiration. Let’s get ‘carried along’ and write some words.


Terry Burns said...

Good post - I enjoyed it

Linda Glaz said...

What a great post, Jim. I was part of that 60s and 70s time, though I didn't manage to really find Christ until '79 when he brought me to my knees, but what a great post and what a legacy that man left behind.

David B. Smith said...

Great comments, Jim. The same article about Chuck Smith described him as a hardcore conservative in a Hawaiian shirt. Good metaphor!

Thanks for the encouraging observations regarding inspiration. It's often a sweet mystery how the Lord quietly moves to infuse a story with his divine influence. While penning the Bangkok trilogy, I would often simply look up to the sky in wonder and say, "Father, I realize these plot lines are from You . . . 'cause my own human mind and spirit are not this creative!" What a nice advantage when we commit our talents to His service.