One of my favorite poems is one by Matthew Arnold called Morality. I don’t remember where I first heard or read it, but the first stanza has been etched in my mind for years:
We cannot kindle when we willThe fire which in the heart resides;The spirit bloweth and is still,In mystery our soul abides.But tasks in hours of insight will’dCan be through hours of gloom fulfill’d.
These words have often compelled me to put all of my energy into the task at hand, especially when I am feeling thoughtful or creative, because undoubtedly just around the corner are awaiting moments of “gloom” in which I will be unable to complete such tasks. So whether it’s lesson planning, writing, composing a song, planning a dinner menu, organizing a family outing, or any of a multitude of activities, I try to make the most of the moments when I have an idea or inspiration. Because if I let my creative juices flow into diligent efforts in those moments, then we will all reap the benefits of those hours of labor in the moments when I feel uninspired and drained. Instead of presuming upon the future, let’s make the most of the “hours of insight,” redeeming the time in every way possible!