I've been inspired in the last couple of years to 'do better' - to actually prepare for things I do in life so that I can do them with all my heart. Like David in Acts 13:36, I'd like it said of me that 'he served God's purpose in his generation.'
Volunteering for me used to be more like 'filling a position.' Some group needed someone to do this over here - fine, I could do that, but I don't think I could have said I always did it with all my heart. I played piano in our small town church when I was in high school. My Mom played the organ, and often my Dad led the singing. Reflecting on this now, I'd say probably 85% of the time when I played I did it because it was expected of me. My heart wasn't entirely into it. We didn't practice the songs much. Some Sunday mornings I was a little groggy. The results reflected that.
I have three groups of people who currently inspire me to do whatever I do with all my heart:
- My kids. My teenage son plays drums and guitar quite well. He's played with the worship band at school for 5 years. Last summer he started playing with the bands at church. He's always practiced on his own (we've never had to tell him) and he practices until he nails the song just like the recording. I never used to do this, I've always gradually improved as a musician. To some degree I think we inspire each other now... He definitely inspires and challenges me with his 'next level' dedication to practice and perfection.
My daughter who is a senior in university writes enjoys writing thought provoking papers for her classes. She struggled with mono last spring but got the highest grades and the most scholarships from that draining semester where her immune system was fighting hard all the time. She was also concurrently preparing for her wedding. Additionally, she got promoted to a supervisor position at her part-time university job because of her diligent work.
- The Pastoral Staff at our Church. They definitely inspire me with their desire for more of God, and the lives they live in and out of the church.
- The Staff at Bearspaw Christian School. Their desire to educate the next generation in excellence motivates me. The teachers volunteering with teams after school are into what they are doing heart and soul and that pushes me to be better in my communicating, educating, and preparation for volunteering I do.
One thing I noticed when I do something with all my heart - I sometimes still have a need for validation... When I was younger, this need was more powerful and encouragement was almost intoxicating. Lately, I'm finding that I'm more caught up in trying to be the best 'whatever' that I can be, and I actually get surprised by compliments - not expecting them sometimes.