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Your Own Inklings

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And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had a special relationship. They were two brilliant men, respected in their particular areas of study. Both were professors in the same university. Both were initially ridiculed for “wasting” their brilliance on children’s stories. Both were believers. These two men also had their differences. One was Catholic and one was Protestant in a time when those differences were powerful. Each had his unique personality that didn’t always enhance the relationship with the other. Still, they committed to spend time together in conversation and prayer.

I do wonder if either man would have written with the same depth and meaning if not for the other. In their writings and in their beliefs, the two of them challenged each other. Their separate upbringings and spiritual beliefs helped stretch the other. Even when they would be frustrated with each other, they never stopped appreciating the skill and commitment the other provided their vocation, or their relationship.

We may never create anything as profound and transformative as the Chronicles of Narnia, or The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but in our small part of the world, God works through us. We should not attempt to fulfill God’s plan alone. We need to share our faith, our calling, our creativity with one another. We need the challenge, the support, and the care of others in order to be our best selves.

Today, prayerfully seek out a group of people who can be your “inklings.” Find a group that will care about you but will also challenge you. Find a group who is not scared to look outside the box. Churches are good places to find small groups. Once you’ve found your group, commit. Commit to attending regularly, meeting the needs of others and not just yourselves, and giving of yourself. When you do this, with honesty and integrity, your ability to move to a deeper level of faith and commitment will occur. God blesses our time in community.