I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.
For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.
I’ve been thinking this week about doing things either out of inspiration or doing things out of expectation. And I think of the difference in quality of things done under one or the other. Also, the satisfaction, or lack thereof, precipitating from either of these two.
I recall the number one regret of the dying I read about a couple months ago–I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This is sobering. I think it’s the difference of living a life out of inspiration or expectation.
You can either operate out of what you are inspired to do, or out of what is expected of you. One of those seems to be a sure fire way to heap up a nice pile of regret poo (or “regretscrement”) to taste of on your deathbed. Now there are of course times when the two, inspiration and expectation, may very well line up and be the same thing. That’s nice when that happens. But we’re talking more about who or what you’re living for.
Operating out of expectation is the main reason, I believe, that movie sequels tend to suck so bad.
Typically, a great movie is born out of inspiration. What does that mean? Let’s pause for a second and figure that out. So operating out of inspiration, to me, means acting from one’s depths of what they know to be true and beautiful and bigger than themselves–out of what is grand and elegant. It is what moves people to do something, something great–for others ultimately. It’s like what you can’t not do. Perhaps we could say we act out of our truest self when inspired. And I believe that our truest self comes from God. I think Jesus acted out of inspiration.
So you get this great movie due to inspiration. Someone has this awesome story welling up from their authentic core (soul) that they must release and bless us with. We laugh, we cry, we get inspired.
So many times, people beg for a sequel. Why settle for one when you can have two for twice the price! Corporate begs for a sequel (AKA more money). Hey people loved the first one, they’ll love the second one! Right? So the sequel is more often birthed out of expectations. Let’s please people and give them what they want, or at least what they will buy, instead of create something out of what is springing forth from our truest self. And because of this, the sequel sucks.
I felt myself slipping into this a little bit back in Septemberish, which is why I stopped writing these little dithyrambs everyday. I didn’t want them to turn into amphigories, am I right? (I love using new words!) I wrote purely out of inspiration for quite a while. But then needed a break. Or a nap. Or something. Anyway, the point is, I felt myself doing it because I was suppose to. Mainly because of expectations I laid on myself. Thankfully I caught it, I think before they got too awful.
Enough about me.
Let’s talk about you now.
Do you feel this? Do you have those favorite bands who just never could match the intensity or inspiration of their first album..? Do you do anything now just because it is expected of you? What would you really like to do? What is inside of you? What’s always been there? What do you feel led to do? What do you feel is the truest thing you know that you want to pursue? What really moves you and gives you life? How do you think this links to the verses above? Or does it not?
In all fairness, some sequels are awesome because they too are born out of the original vision/inspiration. Or perhaps there is actually new inspiration.
Also, we are not talking here about flippantly doing whatever you feel like all the time. It’s much deeper than that.
There are many responsibilities and many boring things we do, ultimately out of inspiration–changing diapers out of love etc.