We are all inspired at times. By someone. By something.
Often the source, the cause, is something that especially moves us. We notice it while others perhaps miss it. Not that anyone could miss a gorgeous sunset...
But it's unique to us in that something objective beyond us particularly moves our subjective being.
I am intrigued for instance by those wonders of the natural world that serve as pointers to another world unseen, just as icons for people of faith point beyond themselves to similar-looking but much greater wonders.
Some years ago, New York minister Dr. Maurice Boyd told of watching TV, and a cat commercial came on with a sleek kitty portrayed. Boyd says that his cat was in the room with him and he pointed to the television and told his cat, something like: 'Look! - There's one of your friends on television!' But all his cat did was come over and lick his pointer finger.
The natural world is like that. An icon is like that. A stained glass church window, an image, a symbol of fish or anchor or cross, the church steeple, pointed Gothic windows - any natural world or object of beauty - point to something away, something, even Someone, beyond, away -- bigger, grander, truer, infinite and wondrous.
The danger is that we will like too much and worship the (mere?) icon, missing that to which it points. That is idolotry.
All things in the natural world, and the art, the architecture, the music we create -- all that moves us and which we so much enjoy, are meant to point us to the Beyond. The Book of Nature and the Book of Revelation (Scripture) point to this Beyond and to the Wonder of our Creator.
Not so beyond, mind you, that we forget the Real and also near Presence of this Other in Whom 'we live and move, and have our being.'