Inspiration. I love this word because I love to be inspired, to be, like the dictionary describes, “mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. To have a sudden creative, brilliant, or timely idea.”
When I feel inspired, I know it is God. It is Divine Guidance and I crave being guided by God.
One day Jake and I were cycling along The Royal Canal in Ireland. It was a beautiful day and we were happy to explore this great ‘find,’ this hard-packed gravel towpath along the canal made in 1789.
Starting in Dublin, the Royal Canal was built to connect the River Liffey with various lakes and rivers east-west across Ireland, linking to the Trinity River and the Atlantic Ocean. It was made for freight and passenger traffic, but fell into disrepair in the late 20th century.
Nowadays much of the canal and its locks have been restored for small boats and tourism and we loved learning some history, pedaling next to the waterway.
At one junction we left the canal and rode to a large lake. The wind was blowing strong across the water as we walked along the shore to stretch our legs.
There was an interpretive signboard with maps and information. An interesting phrase caught my eye.
Underneath the photo of the trail-markers we’d been seeing around Ireland — brown posts with little yellow hiking men pointing the way — was a caption telling their name.
They are called “reassurance markers”.
Reassurance Markers. I love that. Since I have IGGL fears (I’m Gonna Get Lost), I need consistent and repeated reassurance that I am going the right way..
If you are following a canal, you don’t markers.
But life is not a predictable canal, is it?
How does God guide us? How does He reassure us that we are going the right way towards Him?
Yesterday at a campfire breakfast, I asked some friends about spiritual reassurance markers.
How did they see God’s guidance?
They said from the Bible, going to church, being with other believers, and the sense of God’s peace with them.
Yes. All true.
But still I wondered . . .
Our friends left, and quickly, because of a misunderstanding with Jake, all the sweetness of that breakfast time disappeared.
I was deeply hurt.
After my blaming, angry out-burst, we went our separate ways; Jake went for an exercise walk, and I limped and moped down the street.
As I walked, I asked God to show me my sin. I thought of my anger and jealousy and self-centeredness, wanting my way, not getting it. Impatience. Harshness. Plenty of sins.
But then a thought entered my head, a thought from God, an inspiration. “Sarah, you are easily offended, because you are human. This is how you are. And it is okay.”
I knew it was inspired because my soul exhaled all the heaviness, inhaled God’s forgiveness and acceptance, and I began to smile.
I went home and asked Jake to forgive me for being over-sensitive. All was well again.
That inspirational heart-change is for me a Reassurance Marker. It proves to me that God will keep me on His path.
Looking ahead, I don’t see God’s reassurance markers as clearly as those brown posts in Ireland.
But that is okay, because I walk by faith, not by sight.
And I can see many Reassurance Markers behind.