The Poetry of Enthusiasm by Suria Scholtz
Like a child
keen to skip along the zig-zags we call life
bright-eyed and whole-hearted
steering clear of nay-sayers
Enthusiasm runs ahead with unbridled joy to
Grab the hand of vision, talent, opportunity,
marching off the map
into Life Unlimited…
Looking at the origins of enthusiasm I soon realized it is a word one can dress up or down, for it is both young and old. A get-up-and-go kind of word for everyday living, it is also a grand term, its roots reaching all the way to eternity. Derived from two little Greek words, en and theos, it means ‘in God’, for theos is the Greek word for God. Some people talk about being ‘full of God, ’which of course explains why enthusiastic people are often creative and joyful! Walking around with ‘Yes’-faces, their default is to recognize God-given opportunities everywhere they go.
Yet, when wandering far outside one’s comfort zone, it is normal to weigh ‘what-ifs, sort through worst-case scenarios, and entertain thoughts of disappointment, even failure. I guess that’s what happens when we take our eyes off Jesus – suddenly realizing we are cold and wet and the billows more menacing than we remembered when in the boat. Then there are the gloom-ridden pessimists who frequently cross our paths. Be warned – spending too much time with them, will show. Lastly, we should get enough rest, for nothing drains enthusiasm as fast as exhaustion.
- ’Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm,’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- ‘Years wrinkle the skin, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.’ Norman Vincent Peale
How we recover and maintain our enthusiasm, once lost, is critical, for without it, we will miss out on the abundant life Christ has promised. Small changes are often the key to lasting fruit, I have learnt. In my case, it is – Rest. Sleep. Long Walks. Read. Laugh. Listen. Stay Realistic. Wait. Pray. Say No. Go. Change. All of these simply to re-focus my gaze on Christ, for at the heart of it all, is the kingdom principle of abiding in Christ. Saved for a purpose, I need to remain ‘en theos’ – in God, for His invitation to love and co-work with Him, far exceeds my ability.
Yet, I have also witnessed how often enthusiasts are misunderstood and misrepresented. Therefore, I want to spell it out: you can be an introvert and enthusiastic; humble and enthusiastic; mature and enthusiastic, wise and enthusiastic. The only thing you cannot be, is ignored and enthusiastic!
Thus, I conclude my year of blogging. Thank you for journeying with me through an unforgettable 2020. Although I have 12 BASKETS FULL of ideas for 2021, it is my prayer to first re-focus and re-align myself with God’s plans and God’s timing. Until we meet again, stay ‘en theos’, so that in the words of William Carey, we can ‘attempt great things for God, and expect great things from God.’