A few weeks ago, we had guests at the Bee-stro from Ohio. They found us on Google as they were passing through the area (that happens A LOT). As they were leaving, we chatted and the gentleman told me that they had just purchased an orchard in Indiana and their son is managing it. He also told me that our little place had “inspired” him that they could create a little eatery at their orchard. There was no higher compliment that gentleman could have paid me.
The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary (my preferred dictionary and American’s first dictionary) gives the following means to the word inspire, “To infuse into the mind; as, to inspire with new life”, and “To infuse or suggest ideas or monitions supernaturally, to communicate divine instructions to the mind. In this manner, we suppose the prophets to have been inspired, and Scriptures to have been composed under divine influence or direction.” Inspiration comes from God, but sometimes he uses people to be the conduit.
It’s easy to know when you have been inspired, although it may be difficult to explain. I totally understood what that gentleman meant when he said our little place inspired him. Sharon (one of our Bee-stro kitchen sidekicks) and I have talked about how when we go out to eat, we like to seek out places that inspire us, whether it’s with the food, décor, ambiance, etc. You know when you have been to a place that inspires you when you think “That’s a neat way to do that, I think I might try it, but add….”
As far as the Bee-stro goes, two places in particular inspired our basic vision- the former Company’s Coming owned by Jan and Steve Stapp and McKinley Orchard in Oaktown. Company’s Coming inspired us because their family actually lived in the upstairs of the restaurant and it was a total family ran business with great helpers to round out the staff. McKinley Orchard inspired us with our hours. They, too, are only open on Fridays and Saturdays.
Not all inspiration is business related. We have a wonderful gracious lady in our community who is turning 87 this week. Her family is throwing an open house for her. She has been on my mind because she has inspired me in so many ways. She is the rare type of person that when she walks into the room, you feel her presence and you just want to sit up a little straighter and be your best self. That is inspiration. And she does it without saying a word!
Several years ago, there was a gentleman in our community that had a debilitating stroke. When I first heard of it and they didn’t know if he would make it, I thought to myself, “He is a person that will be easy to eulogize.” Some might say that sounds morbid, but the Bible says “A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.” We all have been to funerals where people struggle to say something nice about the deceased. (Let’s be real.) But how much nicer it is to be able to say how the deceased inspired you to be a better person. Actually, it’s joyful to be able to celebrate a life well lived.
There have been a precious few times in my life (three that come to mind) when I have been supernaturally given an idea. Not only did the idea come, but as I walked it out with fear and trepidation, the details needed to complete the task came too. In all three incidents, I had no prior experience, training, or knowledge except for the inspiration given to me by God. (Think Noah and the Ark on a miniscule less earth shattering scale.)
I truly believe God inspires each of us to do something outside of the ordinary. Something we have never done before. An idea that seemingly “falls into our minds”. What trips us up from following through with the inspiration is fear that it’s a crazy idea, or that we might fail. But, in looking at the meaning of inspire, we read, “To infuse into the mind; as, to inspire with new life.” A few years ago, my niece, Megan, sent me this quote by St. Iranaeus, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” I truly believe God not only inspires us, but guides us to walk out the inspiration. When we take the step of walking out the inspiration, then it makes us more fully alive. When we are fully alive, it inspires others and brings glory to God.
So, be inspired! In doing so, you may just be an inspiration.