Leather Inspiration

I want to live inspired. That requires work. Intentionality. Being on purpose. Doing something about it. Many people do not do anything about it. This was what Henry David Thoreau was communicating when he wrote in his book Walden, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

I do not want to settle for a pedestrian-flavored existence. Sure, the yard must be mowed, laundry done, phone calls made, and bills paid. But there must be something more. In the midst of the mundane of life, I want to make sure there is always something deeper, stronger, and bigger percolating under the common surface.

The picture you are looking at is my way of feeding my soul with inspiration. I have been waiting for my birthday for months, excited about finally getting some cash to spend. Leading up to my birthday, I did something my wife does. I made a list of the things I really wanted so that I would not blow my money and then remorsefully realize that I did not purchase the things I really desired. Frugality has its rewards.

Over the weekend, we went to Barnes & Nobles in Metarie. I remember this store having great leather journals. This one cost me $33. That is definitely a lot of money. However, this was high on my list of priorities. I am going to pass this on to my son Ezra some day. What exactly am I going to do with it?

This is not a journal. I have a regular, $3 spiral notebook for that. This book is only for quotes, and not just any quote. This day and age, you can google enough quotes in 30 seconds to fill this book. I am not interested in such a mechanical-type production. When I say ‘quotes’, one of the following criteria must be met in order for me to handwrite it in this leather book:

1. Cannot be Scripture (I list these elsewhere).
2. A quote that I want to memorize.
3. A quote or story that challenges me.
4. A quote or story I might use teaching (church or college)
5. A quote or story that helps me in some way or another.

‘Good” quotes do not make this book. These are the sayings that touch my heart, challenge my mind, lift my spirit, and make me better. So is $33 a lot of money for a simple leather book? Absolutely. But not really. Not for me. It seems rather minuscule in comparison to the impact this book will have on me, others (indirectly), and my posterity.

Lately, I have used my Pages application on my iPad to record quotes. But something is missing. I cannot touch the pages. Besides, I type too fast. On the other hand, I write real slow. Writing a quote is more tangible. In an odd metaphysical sense, writing seems to open my heart a little more. When I write, production is not the goal. I write to think. To reflect. To change. So, out with the electronic version and in with this book that smells like angel’s shoes. Good ol’ leather!

What are you doing to make sure that in the midst of everyday life, a deeper, more eternal sort of flame keeps burning in your heart? You must be intentional. Don’t lose heart. Pick up a little bit of hope again that God has put you here on the earth to do some special things. And then, find ways to keep that alive in your heart. God will help. He will provide the spark, but he might be waiting for you to stack a little bit of wood so there will be something to burn.


Published by B.J. Condrey, PhD

Dr. Condrey holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Missouri-KC, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Ph.D. in Ethics & Practical Theology from the University of Edinburgh. He is ACSI certified. Dr. Condrey writes courses and teaches Psychology, Bible, and C.S. Lewis at Enlightium Academy, where he began working in 2016. He has served as a youth, young adult, and small group pastor in the local church, and currently teaches Ethics at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has a book published by Wipf & Stock (Breaking Ground) along with other publications. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing, spending time with his family, traveling, trout fishing, family hikes, and drinking coffee! He is passionate about helping young people construct a biblical worldview so that their faith involves both the mind and heart. He has been married since 2009 and has two children.

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