Some ideas are only revealed partly; we sense their forms, but it is as if they are covered in a layer of gauze. We need courage and sensitivity to remove that which obscures us from seeing them properly; be determined enough to uncover them; otherwise they may sit, as tantalising shapes, forever. We never find the motivation or courage. Or perhaps we are unwilling to examine more closely – we may find them lacking in some way, only a taste of promise. We don't see their full potential.
Some we need to dig out, brush off – deep-clean, even. We become archaeologists of ideas, old and new; the work is painstaking. Sometimes we can focus and discover something more valuable that we can ever imagine. But often malaise sets in. I find it does. The idea lurks; but I can’t be bothered to dig. As with so much of life, ‘it’s easier not to’.
Some identify with these patches of malaise, of not-botheredness, more than others. Others can hardly imagine such a thing. How can one not want to dig away to find such treasure? There are times I know this enthusiasm, too.
Malaise can come from a number of things, or a swarm. Tiredness. Overwork. Plain disinterest. Lack of confidence. Disbelief in the value of the task – we feel that it may well be pointless.
Some ideas are like shooting stars; fiery moments of inspiration, sighted only for a moment – if we’re looking in the right direction, that is! Do we build on this spark? Sometimes.
Some are like waves, we catch them or we lose them. Momentum carries us; or perhaps we never made that initial effort to keep with the idea and it bowls on without us.
Some ideas embed themselves in us. We don’t notice at first. They seep into our consciousness. They will not be ignored.
The most precious ideas of all – and they could come to us in any of these ways, or by something different entirely – are those infused by Holy Spirit.
I pray I always notice these, that I may have the courage to uncover them, the determination to dig for them, chase after them, or simply to ... listen.
Image (c) Lucy Mills
Lucy's first book, Forgetful Heart: remembering God in a distracted world, was published in 2014 (DLT).
Undivided Heart: finding meaning and motivation in Christ will be coming in October 2017. Lucy writes articles, poetry and prayers for various publications and is Editorial Co-ordinator at magnet magazine. www.lucy-mills.com
Lucy on Twitter: @lucymills