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Life Itself Can Be an Inspiration

March 11, 2023

Another Way for week of March 3, 2023

Life Itself Can Be an Inspiration

I am happy to share a guest column by Pat Walsh, a pastor in St. Michael, Pa., a regular reader of Another Way in the Daily American paper there. Pastor Walsh was responding to my end-of-the-year column titled “What Inspires You?” We hope this stirs you to appreciate or reflect on the things that inspire you to live your best life: it is the only one we have.

Guest column by Pat Walsh

Pastor Pat Walsh

“I grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania. Friends and neighbors were friendly and helpful. They would even yell at you when you did something wrong as a child.

“My dad died when I was eleven years old. A very sad time in my life. I was the youngest of five children who my mother raised. We didn’t have a lot, but always had plenty of food and warm clothes. God provided many father figures to help in my life: neighbors, teachers, coaches, and relatives.

“I didn’t realize it at the time, but did several years later, that the life I lived and saw in others around me encouraged me to move forward and do my best. I had many ups and downs over the years, but I always knew my mother was there for me and felt God had his hand on me. I focused much of my time on sports, specifically basketball, and derived much satisfaction and joy from it. I graduated from high school with several offers to play small college basketball. At the time, I thought life was very good.

“Over the years in college and then early in my working days, I got sidetracked by the ways of the world. I lost sight of some of the things my mother had taught me. I still knew that life was good and there was a purpose for me. God gave me a wonderful, loving, and giving wife that inspired me to greater things. Jesus said, ‘I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.’

“Finally, after years of search, including ups and downs, I saw where true inspiration comes from. In April of 1977 at a Bible study led by Rev. Herbert Norton in Williamsburg, Virginia, I heard how God sent his son Jesus to inspire our lives to greater meaning and purpose than I ever knew. I responded to that message and received Jesus in my life.

“Well, fast forward many years, and now at age 72, I still feel strongly inspired by Life! A life lived for a greater purpose than self. Over the years I have been a husband, parent, neighbor, teacher, coach, and pastor and still find myself inspired by Life. Each day I look for ways to help hurting people, support those in need, encourage those along my path and thank God for giving me a wonderful life. Yes, Life, all of it, good and bad inspires me to look forward, to look upward to God the creator and sustainer of life and continue on.

“So, live life, be inspired by life, a life given to us by God to live for him, to bring honor and glory to God, and to share the love and grace of Jesus.”


This could be the story of many people around the world: our children, after exploring various paths and perhaps getting side-tracked as Rev. Walsh did, but eventually touched by something that was said, preached, or lived to turn to a better way of life. It reminds me of the huge outpouring of interest and testimony, prayers and singing people have experienced recently at Ashland University in Wilmore, Kentucky over a period of weeks, not days. We had much the same thing happen on my college campus back in the early 70s when I was there, and it was amazing. People also traveled a great distance to experience the “revival” and worship in a setting of continual testimonies.

In these days of Lent and looking forward to Easter, do take time to contemplate both the life you’ve been given, the paths you’ve traveled, and the hope you have for the future.


Your stories or experience? Write to me at Another Way, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834, or email

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of ten books, most recently Memoir of an Unimagined Career. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. Hello.
    Thank you for sharing this inspiring guest column by Pastor Pat Walsh. It reminds us to appreciate and reflect on the things that inspire us to live our best life and to be grateful for every day.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. An inspiring message. Thank you for sharing. Have a blessed day!

  3. Pastor Walsh’s message rings true, and I like how he folded the plan of salvation into his testimony of God’s faithfulness.

    These days I’m thankful for a godly heritage and for the goodness of God’s especially his constant care and mercy. 😀

  4. Yes, being raised in a church environment can help us follow in a good path, even if there are detours for some. A guest speaker at our church this morning spoke of imagining God as a neighbor who invites us over for a visit or a meal–(a take off on a Bible parable)–and I thought wow, I’d never thought of God like that but that can be part of the intimacy we can enjoy with the maker of the universe.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. From a reader, Nancy Stoppe:
    Melodie, I read your column in the Daily American and Pat Walsh’s response. I can relate to everything he said. I lost my dad at age 16. It was just me and my mom, since my 2 sisters were married and out of the house. Living on a farm there was so much to do and it was hard for a 56 year old woman and a 16 year old girl. But we managed with the help of friends and wonderful neighbors. I married at age 20 and moved with my husband to PA all the way from Mississippi. Five years after I moved out mama had to sell the farm and move to Jackson by my sisters. I was saved at age 10 and I can testify that I made many mistakes after that but God never left my side. I am thankful for the many blessings He has given to me.

    I, too, write a weekly article for the Daily American that is published on Tuesdays called “Inspiration Insights”. I began writing these in April of 2013. I try to encourage people to delve into the scriptures, find a church that they can be comfortable with that teaches the truth in the scriptures. I try to relate to many of the problems we face each and every day. I say a prayer each time one of these articles is submitted. If it helps just one person, then I’ve done my job as a messenger for God through the direction and inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

    The Asbury revival has proven that people are hungry and desperate for more than they have and searching for truth; something that will change their lives. One of the women from our church and I went to see the movie “Jesus Revolution”. It wasn’t what I expected but it was really a good movie. Once it was over it made me see, again, the perfect timing of God. The Asbury revival started several weeks before this movie came out. With this movie out just at this particular time and the realization of how God works brought me to tears. Together it was just what we needed.

    I enjoy your column and look forward to reading it. Keep up the good work!
    God bless…
    Nancy M. Stoppe

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