等待靈感?

By D. Barry Weir

(編者註:以下文章是由魏貝睿Barry Weir改編自梅矢迪Steve May的「週一便條Monday Memo」專欄。梅矢迪是巴西里約熱內盧一個福音外展事工的創辦人,這專欄是他對今日職場的觀察。)

藝術家查克.柯洛思(Chuck Close)曾說:「業餘人士需要靈感--我們其他專業人則一上場就要開始工作。」同樣地,柴可夫斯基(Tchaikovsky)也作了這樣的觀察:「一個自重的藝術家不可以雙手一攤,用自己沒心情當藉口。」詩人懷特(E.B. White)用這種方式表達同樣的想法:「一個作家等著理想的狀態才要去工作,那麼在死之前都不會寫出一個字。」

成功的創意人士一致認為,長期來看,努力比靈感更重要。劇作家尼爾·蓋曼(Neil Gaiman)談到在寫「書呆子播客」(Nerdist podcast)時,提供一個有用的洞見。談到小說家需要前後一致,蓋曼說(摘要):「你必須每天讓你寫出的字有價值;那些字不會等你。不論你有無靈感都必須寫。而奇怪的是,六個月後,你回顧過去,卻不記得哪個場景是你在有靈感之下寫出來,哪個場景又是你必須寫時,就寫出來的。」

這與職場或者因活出委身於耶穌基督的生命每天所面對的挑戰有什麼關係?實際上,非常有關係。在我們的工作中,我們必須學習抗拒等待有靈感才去打重要銷售電話的試探、設立一個有效的策略去擴張事業、或完成我們已拖延許久的企劃案。而且我們需要提醒我們所帶領的人(也提醒我們自己),基督徒的生命不是靠靈感活出來的。我們不要等到我們想把事情做好的時刻來到才去做。我們就是需要把事情做好,就在今天和每一天,不論我們是否覺得有靈感。

你是否因為等待正確的靈感,而不必要地拖延某件事?試著努力去做,而非等待靈感來到。忘掉你不想做手頭這工作的念頭。耐吉(Nike)的行銷標語:「做就對了!」在六個月內--或你的餘生中,你會發現不論你是否有靈感都不重要。你做了必須做的事才是重要的:以下是我在聖經中找到的一些有幫助的真知灼見:

惰性可能是不順服的結果。在物理學中,惰性的定義是「缺乏行動或活動,尤其在需要行動或活動時。」我們可能把缺乏行動美其名稱為延遲,但聖經用一個不同的名詞:「人若知道行善,卻不去行,這就是他的罪了」(雅各書4章17節)。在需要行動時,只等待靈感,被認為是罪。

當你發現需要做某件事,就去做。當你有機會去完成某件事,就熱切地去做。因為以後你可能沒有別的機會了。「凡你手所當作的事要盡力去作;因為在你所必去的陰間沒有工作,沒有謀算,沒有知識,也沒有智慧」(傳道書9章10節)。

以正確的動機去行動。我們不但要提醒自己應該做什麼,也要記得我們為何去做--以及為誰做。「無論作什麼,都要從心裡作,像是給主作的,不是給人作的」(歌羅西書3章23節)。

貝瑞.魏爾是貝瑞.魏爾公司的企業主,這公司提供資訊科技及服務。他是一位CBMC領袖,也是美國加州橘郡區域領袖團隊的一員。

省思 / 討論題目
在你的工作或個人生活中,你是否發現自己常常拖延行動,如本篇「週一嗎哪」的題目,你在等待靈感? 在你看來,決定要等到靈感一定都是不好的嗎?請解釋。 我們大多數人都經歷過,當沒有花足夠的時間去計劃並準備,就冒然行動,也是不好的。一個人要如何分辨何時應等待靈感,何時又不應該等待? 聖經說,若我們應該行善,卻沒有去行,我們的不作為就等同於犯罪。你對此有何看法?你覺得這樣的評斷太嚴厲嗎?請解釋。註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:箴言10章4節,12章11、24節,14章23節,16章26節,24章30-31節;馬太福音5章16節,6章33-34節;歌羅西書3章17節

WAITING FOR INSPIRATION?
By D. Barry Weir

(Editor”s note: The following is adapted and expanded by D. Barry Weir from a “Monday Memo” column by Steve May, founder of an evangelistic outreach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, applying his observations to today”s workplace.)

The artist Chuck Close once said, "Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work." Along the same lines, Tchaikovsky, made the observation, "a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood." Poet E.B. White expressed the same idea this way: "A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper."

The consensus among successful creative types is that over the long haul, perspiration is more important than inspiration. Screenwriter Neil Gaiman offered a useful insight about writing on the Nerdist podcast. Talking about a novelist’s need to be consistent, Gaiman said (in summary), "You have to make your word count each day; those words won’t wait for you. You have to write whether you’re ‘inspired’ or not. And the weird thing is six months from now, you’ll look back and won’t be able to remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you wrote because they had to be written."

What does this have to do with workplace or the everyday challenges of living a life devoted to Jesus Christ? Quite a bit, actually. In our work, we must learn to resist the temptation of waiting for inspiration to make an important sales call, develop an effective strategy to expand the business, or complete that project we have been postponing for too long. And we need to remind those we lead (and remind ourselves, too) the Christian life isn’t lived by inspiration. We don’t wait for the moment to arrive when we feel like doing something right. We just need to do right, today and every day, whether we feel inspired or not.

Is there something you’ve been putting off unnecessarily while you wait for the right inspiration? Try perspiration, rather than waiting on inspiration to arrive. Forget about how little you feel like doing the task at hand. In the words of the Nike marketing slogan, “Just do it.” In six months – or for the remainder of eternity – It will not matter how inspired you felt at the time. It will matter only that you did what needed to be done. Here are some insights I have found helpful from the Bible:

Inertia can be the result of disobedience. In physics, inertia is defined as “lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed.” We might sugarcoat this lack of action by calling it procrastination, but the Bible uses a different term: “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17). Waiting for inspiration, rather than moving into action when necessary, is considered sin.

When you find something to do, do it. When you have the opportunity comes to accomplish something, pursue it eagerly. You might not get another chance at a later time. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Move into action with the right motives. It helps to remind ourselves not only what we should do, but also why we are doing it – and for whom. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Colossians 3:23).

D. Barry Weir is owner of D. Barry Weir & Associates, an information technology and services company. He is a CBMC leader and a member of the area leadership team for Orange County, California, U.S.A.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Do you often find yourself delaying specific action at work, or in your personal life, because – as this “Monday Manna” is titled, you are waiting for inspiration? In your view, is a decision to wait until the moment of inspiration arrives always a bad thing to do? Explain your answer. Most of us – if not all – have experienced times when moving into action without taking sufficient time for planning and preparation proved equally bad. How do you think a person can discern when waiting for inspiration is warranted – and when it is not? What is your reaction to the biblical declaration that if we know the good we should do and fail to do it, our inactivity equates to sin? Do you think this assessment is too harsh? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 10:4, 12:11,24, 14:23, 16:26, 24:30-34; Matthew 5:16, 6:33-34; Colossians 3:17

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