"I have told you things for a purpose, that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. . .love one another as I have loved you; this is the best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. . .love one another." John 15:9-11
"Let us endeavor to live so that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry." Mark Twain
"If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind."
Norman Vincent Peale
There is a story told of a time when the great magician Harry Houdini was challenged by the London Daily News to escape from a pair of specially forged handcuffs which had six locks to a cuff and nine tumblers on each lock. He accepted the challenge and 4,000 spectators gathered to see if Houdini could beat this seemingly impossible challenge.
An empty cabinet which rose to his waist was placed on the stage, and the unflappable Houdini came out, was cuffed and dropped down into the cabinet. Out of sight for 20 minutes, the escape artist finally arose with a smile on his face and the audience began to applaud with appreciation. But he was not yet free, and he then asked for more light in the cabinet. Another 20 minutes passed as the excitement pulsed through the crowd. Houdini once again rose and the audience shouted in excited jubilation. Alas, he had not yet defeated the handcuffs. After whipping out a pocketknife and slashing his coat, which he then quickly pulled over his head, he dropped down once more with the crowd crying out its encouragement, and exhortations. After a short 10 minutes, he jumped out of the box waving the handcuffs over his head, the crowd cheering his accomplishment wildly. Afterward Houdini was interviewed, and he confessed that the cuffs were not that difficult a challenge. He was asked why he took more time than necessary and why he kept rising up even though he had not conquered the cuffs. His reply was that he wanted the audience's applause in order to keep up his enthusiasm.
Indeed, enthusiasm is contagious! Athletes are driven by it, teachers rely upon it, and students often fail without it. Projects are completed because of it and leadership demands it. Enthusiasm comes from the Greek en theos and means "to be filled with God." Enthusiasm takes us past what "should be done" or "what is required" and turns us toward what it means to be called, to have purpose, to chase dreams. Enthusiasm enables us to look past the struggle of the immediate and reminds us that the journey can be as much fun as the result!
Jesus does indeed come to give us joy, and sharing that joy through our encouragement of one another and the enthusiasm for doing the things of the Lord, will help us to find that LIFE we all seek. Let us cheer, SHUMC, let us become joyfully excited about what lies ahead, for Christ is with us! And being enthusiastic and enthralled about the work of ministry is catching. May we all catch that good infection!
en theos, (and almost always enthusiastic!)
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