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The Infectious Nature of Inspiration

Tebowing - courtesy Wikipedia

The idea of  “inspiration” is intriguing.

The actual word has several meanings including “…to breath in…” as well as “…spirit or muse indwelling…,” and it’s that intangible “spirit breath” that’s believed to be the core for all creative endeavors.

Whether it’s writing a song, a novel, blueprinting an invention, launching a business or nonprofit – the initial motivation starts as inspiration.

And yet, inspiration can also surprise you. This weekend I saw two news stories that proved that point.

The first was a  local story here in DC about a teenage boy who has had leukemia for several years. Last year, his dad sent a Twitter message to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow stating that the boy was “Tebowing while chemoing” and attached a picture of the bald-headed boy (who lost his hair to chemotherapy) kneeling similarly to Tebow’s signature prayer pose, which has been dubbed “Tebowing” [ see photo insert].

The reporter went on to say that Tebow (who is an unabashed Christian) was so moved by the photo, that the NFL player flew and teenager and parents to a game in Denver. Tebow then met the boy 10 minutes before kickoff and spent an hour with the family after the game. The news story featured a snippet from the boy stating how that day changed his life. He went on to say that Tebow’s grit, toughness and never-quit attitude INSPIRED him to beat his blood/bone marrow cancer.

Here’s where the intrigue begins…

A separate story ran on the national CBS network that revealed how every week for the past two years that Tebow has been in the NFL, he has paid to have different sick kids and teens attend his home and away games – meeting before kickoffs and after the games with each child respectively.

When Tebow was asked by the national reporter why he does this, the player said that there’s so much pressure on him to perform and win in the NFL that it’s easy to forget what’s important in life. Tebow said these kids are facing REAL life and death challenges everyday, using REAL courage in their battles against terminal diseases – it’s not a game for them.

Tebow then said something that struck me, “These kids INSPIRE me to be the best I can be, make the most of what I’ve been blessed with and share it anyway I can.”

The amazing thing is that both the boy with leukemia and Tebow inspired each other in a virtual cycle that elevated them both to something better. But it doesn’t end there.

Ironically, both stories also touched something inside of me – and thousands of others I’m sure – stirring my spirit, infecting me, inspiring me.

The point is that the nature of inspiration is to spread and replicate itself. However, the lesson is that we must be ready at any moment to inspire or be inspired – because you never know when the “spirit” will move.

Question: What’s something that inspires you?

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  1. Great story. Tebow represents Christ well.

  2. I am not a football fan nor follower but even I have heard of Tim Tebow. I love your story and how he understands what is important in life. Stories like this are what inspires me.

  3. So true…You never know when the Spirit will move…

    I think another lesson in your blog, may or may not have been intended, is to be ready/available when the Spirit moves.

    Also, I find it ‘inspiring’ that a person is able to be inspired by positive or negative events.


  4. Agreed, Tor! My husband related this story of Tebow and the boy almost verbatim. Inspiration can come from anyone at any time. To receive such a gift, we must first be open to it.

  5. Tor I just love this and hopefully many will read it as well and be inspired. Thanks for using that God given gift of the pen to write this up!

  6. This is the FIRST story about Tebow that I liked. And, one that should serve as the example for us all.

  7. A good story of how one deed can inspire others….we can apply this to so much in life…smiling at someone who you don’t know can lead to them smiling at others etc

  8. wow, so true. i wrote a similar post the other day about contagious leadership: http://goo.gl/yr78d

  9. I am a missionary in Paraguay. We have had the opportunity to meet and befriend numerous missionary families here. It is inspiring to see then varied and difficult work that these people are doing. Incredibly creative and love based interactions.

  10. What a great post. I do believe you can find inspiration anywhere and sometime in the most surprising places. I am always amazed at how God works at bringing me inspiration when I need it most. Thanks.

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