Getting Ready to Receive, Day 10
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” ~Isaiah 9:6-7
Have you noticed that it’s hard to rally energy for the things we don’t want to do, and yet somehow our time and even our best energy often gets eaten by those things? I used to think I should schedule the time for the things I didn’t want to do because I would naturally find time for everything else. But now, I realize that I have to schedule the things I want to do so they don’t get swallowed up by the everything else’s of life. For example, that coffee date with a friend, the run I’ve been meaning to take for months, a conversation with my spouse (oops, did I admit that?), those are things we assume will fit in our lives, but never do unless they make it onto the calendar.
There are lots of rationales behind this reality, but I think one of them is that we have lost our zeal.
Zeal is such a great word – and not just because it starts with a z and gets you good points in Scrabble. Zeal is defined as great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of something.
We’ve lost our zeal the minute we’ve lost sight of what we are pursuing. When the days start passing by and we don’t know where they are leading, we get confused and settle into survival mode. We’ll never get where we want to go, if we haven’t identified “where” that is. Andy Stanley calls this the principle of the path.
When Jesus came, he was pursuing justice and righteousness, and he did it with zeal because he knew where the days were leading. Jesus lived with energy, enthusiasm and intentionality. He wasted no time, and more importantly, he didn’t waste moments – the moment with the woman at the well, the moment with the leper who came back to say ‘thank you’ after his healing, the moment with the rich, young ruler.
What are you pursuing? Where are you heading? Is your best energy pointed in that direction?