Aspiration or inspiration?

Living up to words of encouragement

There used to be a scrap of paper on the wall above my computer which quoted a fellow minister saying we need to be “less aspirational and more intentional”. In other words, we should not just long for things to be better, but strive to make them so. I agree with him, wholeheartedly. However, there are days when those words read like a bugle call to the hopeful, and others when they feel like a cosh to the wilting spirit! The way that other people sere us can bring out the best of our skills, or awaken the worst of our doubts.

Just over a month ago I published a book on Kindle. The book, Jonah:poet in extremis, had been written over a period of two turbulent years, and had then sat on my hard drive awaiting publication. In the end, it became apparent that electronic publication was going to be the way to go. Like any act of publication, whether in print or pixels, it is a moment of great exposure. On the one hand, you can’t wait for your honed and crafted ideas to see the light of day. On the other, you can be plagued by doubts about how  they are received.

Yesterday, someone published a review on the book, and in it he described me (amongst other things) as a ‘joyful wordsmith’. Those words fill me with hope, excitement…and a little bit of dread. I love to think of myself as a wordsmith, hammering words into shape on the anvil of experience. Not only that, but for the most part it gives me great joy. All the same – its a lot to live up to!

How do you react to the positive words of others?

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