How does the spirit move you? Is it seeing a sunrise, a rainbow, a baby’s smile, a budding flower? When you hear someone playing piano, can you tell when they are just playing it or when they are moved to play it? Do you use that spirit to be creative?

When I lead a religious service, people often say they can feel the spirit moving in the room, filling up the space, having an emotional impact on them. Where does it come from? For me, I know it comes through me – not from me. I am able to take that inspiration that moves me to help move others.

Artists sometimes give credit to a greater spirit, the one that brought things into existence. That is the response to my question to my partner who transformed a beautiful photo into a magical color pencil piece of art. She blended colors, created raindrops, and truly represented the inspirational picture. She is Angela “Burke” Allen. Most of you know her as Angie.

I am telling you about her work because she is a member of “our” community. She entered her picture in the Color Pencil Society’s International show being held through August 6th at the Strathmore Mansion in Rockville. How incredible to walk in and see her picture hanging on the walls, one among 120 jury chosen pictures. Some of the pictures had a red dot on them. We learned that this meant the pictures were sold. Angie’s had a red dot. Seeing her hard work being chosen by someone else to be their’s was so exciting.

Walking around looking at many of the entries, you could see that they were truly inspired. What an incredible gift … artists taking their inspiration and producing such wondrous pieces for all of us to share.

So, where do your talents lie? What are you inspired to do? Are you able to listen to that inner voice urging you on or do you listen to the voice saying you are not good enough? Too often I hear that voice saying no, you can’t do that. You do not have the talent, you are not trained, you don’t have a degree, you are mediocre. I have learned to turn off these negative voices. No, it is not easy. No, turning them off keeps happening, it is not a one-time switch.

My challenge this week is to each of you. Each of you has a spirit within urging you on to do something. Write a poem, take a picture, bake a cake, write a story, play an instrument, do a stand up comedy routine, make a movie, grow a garden, try out for a play or choir or chorus. The list is endless. The possibilities, oh the possibilities. You just have to try, and sometimes, try again. I cannot tell you how many times I‘ve written a sermon, balled it up and started over, and over, and over. Don’t give up. Keep trying. Maybe you thought you should write when you should sing, maybe you take photos but could be painting. As I said, the possibilities are endless. You just have to trust and start. Let whatever spirit moves you, bring out the best that is in you.

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