Sometimes I look up a passage of scripture to preach on and God just brings the inspiration right away. He lays ideas for stories and illustrations in my lap. He reveals ways to bring the message home. The inspiration just happens without a lot of effort on my part.
Other times, I look up a passage from scripture I've chosen to preach on and there's nothing. I read it. I write it. I read it again. And it just stares at me and I wonder what the heck I'm going to do with it for the sermon.
It's in these moments that the inspiration doesn't just "happen." And it's in these moments I tend to get distracted. I'll check Facebook or e-mail or make phone calls or practice guitar or read something else or Blog (yes, I'm doing that very thing now because I'm not sure what to do with a text of scripture).
I know what I "should" do. I "should" dig into the text even more. I "should" take some time to pray. I "should" break out some commentaries and see if inspiration will come through something I read. I "should" put in some effort, instead of just expecting inspiration to happen without hard work.
What I often discover, is that if I put in the hard work of really diggging into the text and seeking God and working with ideas, inspiration does eventually come. It's an awesome feeling when it does come and it is so much more rewarding when it happens through hard work instead of just apart from it.