Lower Mesa Falls with Rainbow

What an inspiring place!


It was my first trip to Yellowstone National Park, and we’d spent the day sightseeing.  I didn’t know what to expect, other than the famous geyser, “Old Faithful.” I was there for the new experience, the adventure, the opportunity to see something I’d never seen before in a place I’d never been before.

Fields of yellow flowers

Fields of yellow flowers, photo by Chuck Turk

As we meandered through the park, my grandson searched for any form of wildlife, “aminals,” as he says. His six-year-old eyes were very quick to spot an animal in the woods or prairies we passed. Soon we were seeing bison, mule deer, elk, bear and golden eagles.

We marveled at the scenery, the meandering river with its rushing rapids. No less wonderful were the fields of wildflowers in bright yellows and lovely purples.

Old Faithful, photo by Chuck Turk

Old Faithful, photo by Chuck Turk

Old Faithful was, and we strolled along a boardwalk leading past numerous other geysers in various stages of erupting.

Falls in Yellowstone3



But perhaps my favorite sight was the waterfalls. The park offered many vantage points to view the falls, from above and below, with walkways or trails leading to them. They were exciting, powerful, and awesome. The sound of rushing water grew louder as we got closer to the falls, thrilling us with anticipation of what lay ahead.

Inspiration Point sign2


After we’d gone down every trail we saw, we spotted a sign that read, “Inspiration Point.”  Who could pass up such an invitation? What more wonderful sight lay ahead? We couldn’t wait to be inspired at the end of this new trail.


Approaching Inspiration Point4

The excitement builds.



Inspiraton Point

Inspiration Point?

But we weren’t. The trail abruptly ended, closed off due to some repair work. Yet, it didn’t seem to go much farther anyway. We leaned forward and craned our necks to see where the inspiring point was. We were disappointed. Nothing appeared that compared with what we had already seen. We laughed at the name of the place, agreeing that it was the least inspiring place we’d visited.



How ironic that we weren’t inspired at Inspiration Point. However, we were inspired by so many other things we’d seen. We were inspired when we didn’t expect to be inspired.

I couldn’t help but compare our experience to writing. We sometimes work so hard to find inspiration, that we overlook what we’ve already seen or experienced. We sit at our computers and wait for miraculous words to appear on the screen and are disappointed when they don’t.

The definition of inspiration is “stimulation for the human mind to creative thought or to the making of art.” Little surprise that staring at a vacant computer screen fails to stimulate.

So where does the inspiration come from? Where is our “inspiration point?” Thanks to photography, I can look at pictures from our trip of all the marvelous things we saw and recall the inspiration I felt while there. I can look at pictures of lighthouses, one of my favorite inspirational hobbies. Or I can go for a walk in our neighborhood and take the trail through the woods – an activity that always inspires me. Or look out my kitchen window and see flowers, trees, birds and squirrels. I can listen to the sound of baby birds in their nest in my hanging fern. I can hear the chatter of a squirrel, the cry of a hawk overhead, or the meow of a cat. Or I can just think of my family and friends and how God has blessed me with them.

Truth is, I don’t really have to go anywhere to be inspired. I can just open my Bible and be reminded of God’s majesty when David was inspired to write in Psalm 19:1-6,  beginning with “The heavens declare the glory of God.’

Which brings me to another definition of inspiration – divine influence. The Latin origin of the word “inspire” – in means “into,” and spirare means “to breathe.” In the book of Genesis, it says God breathed life into man. God inspired man with life! So maybe if you’re looking for inspiration, you should go to the source, and ask God to breathe it into you.

What inspires you?