Motivating as a Spiritual Art…

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Meditation: Religion sometimes has had a hard time waiting for people to develop their inner motivation. Religion at times forces or coerces people with “shoulds”, “oughts” and threats, as it is afraid that people could “go astray” and venture out of a specific tradition or out of certain codes of behavior.  Spirituality on the other hand is the art of waiting for people to develop their inner motivation. It is about role modeling, giving freedom, and making spiritual life interesting and rich so that people will want to join in. Parenting styles deal with the same question of how to influence others’ behavior and choices. I always wanted my daughters to eat healthy and make healthy food choices, as that is very important to me. However, as I struggled in my relationship with food for many years, I did not want to coerce or force my daughters. I always buy healthy food, but the past four years I have let my daughters pretty much choose what they wanted to eat (with occasional friendly prompting to try something healthy). However, I refrained from force. After four years of freedom, one of my daughters suddenly has developed an interest in healthy eating and asked if she could consult a nutritionist. (And you cannot imagine how happily I took her there…)

Prayer: Gracious God, You wait for us. You want us to “want to serve You and others” not because we must, but because we feel passionate and happy to do so. Thank You for the spiritual wisdom to give freedom and to wait. Thank You that You helped me not to impose “my religion” of healthy food eating on my daughters. Thank You that role modeling and freedom are wonderful ingredients of spiritual growth. Thank You for being such a patient parent God role model. Amen

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2. Corinthians 9:7