To make a fire using a flint and steel set, you strike the steel against the flint until a spark lands on the char cloth, fungus or birch. You must then put the char into a tinder nest and blow gently. The spark is fleeting; it burns out quickly. If it does not land on the char cloth and start to glow, it is unlikely that the tinder nest will be of any value. Fire is not assured on this basis, but with enough practice you can do it time after time.
Every time you receive a spark of inspiration, you face the same challenge. If the tinder nest of your heart and mind have not been prepared sufficiently, the spark will disappear as quickly as it came. I’ve watched this process work out in relation to my daily posts. Something I write will spark a higher vision, a new sense of possibility in the heart or mind of a reader. They get really excited about the potential for change.
If they weren’t prepared to receive it, for example, if it caught them by surprise after a period of self-centeredness, chances are that the spark will burn out before they can do anything with it. Many sparks extinguish unfulfilled.
In my view, those who are expert at living are the most adept at using these sparks to advantage. To such people, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing a spark come and go without catalyzing creative change. Those who fail to use the sparks that come their way typically start rationalizing to themselves and others why that spark wasn’t for them. Over time, such people eventually stop noticing the sparks altogether and in so doing they join the herd of mediocrity which has consumed more potentially valuable human lives than I could ever detail.