We are more than the sum of our parts and Google calendar. My personal and work calendar are filled with activities of adventure, the mundane, and the unexpected. For me, and maybe for you too, there is always a story line weaving its way into my self-imposed and obligated list of things to do. For several weeks, I’ve read devotionals, watched documentaries, received profound quotes from my daughter’s new job presentations, and sat in presentations and meetings from my work that tells the story of common humanity. For all our differences, we move, work, and play with a common song. Can you hear the music?
“The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word “entheos” which means the God within. And the happiest, most interesting people are those who have found the secret of maintaining their enthusiasm, that God within.” Earl Nightingale
What creates enthusiasm within you? The “God within” will guide you. He provides the necessary tools, wisdom, and passion for one more day. If you’ve lost your enthusiasm, perhaps it’s because you are trying to conjure this up on your own, forgetting that you are filled with the very presence of God. His Holy Spirit is capable of showing you great and unsearchable things.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
As humans we desire the known, God says there are things you’ve never seen or known, and I am willing to show you–CALL TO ME!
In my current job, every day is new. Some days are filled with empowered enthusiasm, other days I am confused and, well, let’s be honest, like Charlie Brown on a bad day.
Enthusiasm is embracing the “AUGHH!” along with the “WOW!” “God within” means I may have thoughts and feelings, but the story has to play out. In the ball game of life, you hit home runs and you strike out. Both exist. Go with God!
You can’t be a softy
The story of Velveteen Rabbit reminds us of the journey of life not only within ourselves but in our relationships. We must allow conflict, misunderstandings, true hurtfulness to exist. You can’t be a porcelain doll. My every thought becomes how can I create a porcelain appearance, situation, or relationship. I carefully hold it, clean it up, and protect it so that it does not break. The result? Exhaustion, anxiety, and frustration for myself and others. I wonder why they can’t see, and I question my sanity around things that I seem to not be able to change. What if…
What if we could embrace the conflicts with enthusiasm and trade our porcelain life in for a “God within” enthusiasm? I don’t want to be carefully kept. Just to hear those two words together makes me want to yell, “No more!” I don’t want to carefully keep my children, my marriage, or my journey! I want to embrace, with enthusiasm, the God within and the unsearchable. I don’t want to play it safe to the point of carefully kept. I’m all for logic, boundaries, and order, but there is a limit. If I worship order to the point that when I “get out-of-order” I’m a failure, then I’ve gone too far indeed! Allow life to push you around a little–take the bruises and the bumps, and continue fighting.
Believe in the capacity of others
Think back to a time that you were in the throes of a learning curve, or totally messed up a situation. Because of your actions, you caused others to work harder, or you totally dropped the ball, so they were left hanging. I’m not recommending we do that often; we do need to hold ourselves and others accountable, but our humanity beckons us to rebuild and transform. When someone takes my mistake and gives me enough grace to be transformed along with honest feedback, then I not only begin to change, but I am motivated to consider new possibilities. Capacity is built. Grudges, self-loathing, and pity parties don’t exist here. Honest conversations with change and possibilities take sail.
I’ve always been enthralled by childhood cartoons and characters–I love Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, the Pink Panther, and Charlie Brown. Later in Charlie Brown’s life he meets this red-head girl and falls in love. His infatuation of her was during a time in my young adult life that I was struggling with red hair. In my day, red heads were different, and different wasn’t always cool in school. I was happy to see and hear that a little red-haired girl could capture the attention of a boy.
When we believe in the capacity of others and make it a point to speak life, we do great and mighty things for ourselves and others. The little red-haired girl noticed all the wonderful qualities of Charlie Brown that made even Lucy tear up. We all have a Lucy, right? You might be that Lucy! Take notice in the video the compassion in the little red-haired girl, the reactions of others, and the expression on Charlie Brown’s face.
“That’s not the type of person you are at all….”
In summary, embrace the God within (enthusiasm), stop carrying around your porcelain doll, and free your hands and mind up to build capacity in others and yourself.