What inspires you? Think about it. Inspire means “to breathe life into, excite or encourage.” Inspire derives from the Latin word “inspirare” or “spirare,” which means “to blow into or inflame.” When you inspire someone or something, it is as if you are blowing air over a low flame to make it grow. What really picks you up, gives you a lift or breathes more life into you?

Is it a specific scripture verse, a favorite song, or maybe talking with a certain person? Your inspiration could come from someone’s social media post, or from a meditation or prayer time, or a dozen or more other places, such as a daily devotional book or uplifting thoughts from a daily calendar. Whatever it might be, we all need to get inspired every single day, as early as possible, and cling onto it whatever comes our way.

And one of the great things about life, no matter what our situations may be, we can come in contact with unplanned inspiration through people and events that give us a boost when we need it. You may get life breathed into you by someone or some event that you never in your wildest imagination could have conceived, such as the inspiration I received today from seeing wife Jean pee up a wall.

“What?” you ask in utter astonishment. Let me explain. I’m writing this article while sitting in Jean’s hospital room, a hospital in which she has been residing since Aug. 20. First it was in the emergency room after a fall, and then in a regular room, and then in a critical care room, and then back to a regular room, and then to a critical care room and today back to a regular room.

“So, what about the inspiration part?” you ask. Well, before I get into that, let me tell you about the amazement part that, quite frankly, entertained me. I have been in numerous hospital rooms, usually visiting someone else or as Jean’s husband. But when in the critical care room with Jean, for the very first time I saw pee coming from a catheter and into a tube hanging from the bed and then going up a wall to be deposited in a container. Maybe you have seen — and heard — the wall thing before, but this was a “firsty” for me.

As I was watching the event I was reminded of the chorus of an old Statler Brothers’ song: “Counting flowers on the wall, that don’t bother me at all / Playing solitaire ‘til dawn with a deck of fifty-one / Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo / Now don’t tell me I’ve nothing’ to do.”

Now, on to the inspiring part. One of Jean’s problems was fluid retention, and her pee had become very cloudy due to a urinary tract infection (UTI). Antibiotics were given to her continuously through an intravenous line (IV) for a lengthy time, and today she has received it at specific times. Here comes the inspiring part (drum roll please), her pee became a beautiful, perfectly clear light yellow this morning.

That was inspiring. I have been inspired by other things today, as I am daily, but this was this most inspiring today. As we Southerners say, “Whatever melts your butter.” Well, that event melted my butter. I wouldn’t eat the butter on anything, but it did melt it.

I’m sharing all of this to encourage you to experience planned and be aware of possible unplanned inspiration daily. Whatever the situation, it helps to lessen the sting of bad things and makes good things better. As you get inspired, Jean and I would appreciate a little prayer for her.

Carl Mays is a National Speakers Hall of Fame member and author of over a dozen books, including A Strategy For Winning (foreword by Coach Lou Holtz). carlmays@carlmays.com.