This time last week, I was taking part in the annual ACW committee retreat. It’s a great opportunity to talk and pray through the business of ACW, but also to get to know one another a little better. (It’s also a good excuse to jeopardise my diet by eating far too much sticky toffee pudding…but that’s another story.)
One of the getting to know you games we played involved writing down the name of someone who has inspired us. The leader added a couple of wild cards for good measure and then we had to build teams by taking it in turn to guess which of us had picked each name. Some of these were easier to work out than others: anyone old enough to remember who David Kossoff is could have quickly made the link between him and our very own Amy Robinson. Others were harder – we’ve all heard of Agatha Christie, Barack Obama and Elijah, but who would cite them as their inspiration?
No doubt we all have those who have inspired us in our Christian lives: biblical characters, modern day speakers, as well as lesser-known individuals who have made a difference to us personally. And when it comes to our writing, we’re often influenced and helped by other writers…which is why some of the best advice offered to aspiring writers is to read, read, and read some more!
|Plenty of inspiration here!|
Sometimes, however, we can be so preoccupied with looking to those who have gone before us, that we forget to look behind. We all have something to offer to others, whatever point we’ve reached on our personal writing journey. After all, Jesus used the five loaves and two fish not because it was a huge amount, but because a small boy was willing to offer them.
One of the great strengths (I believe) of ACW is the way members encourage and support one another. So, I’d like to issue a challenge: think about those who have inspired you – and why – and then consider what you can do to inspire and help others. And I’d love you to offer suggestions in the comments below, if you feel able.