I’ve been called hyper.
I’ve been called ‘high energy.’
I’ve been called animated.
And I used to hate being called each and everyone of those things.
You see, whenever someone called me any of the above, the context always implied that this was due to my youth or my perceived immaturity. Fair enough. I haven’t always been 42, married, with four kids. When I first came into ministry, I was 22 years old directing a small choir as a music minister over a summer while off from college. I have always loved people, loved being in ministry, and loved the Savior that called me. Ministry has had it’s ups and downs, but I always found it exciting to lead people in worship through music and preaching.
Now I preach usually 2-3 times a week. And the Bible still thrills me. God has spoken in history as recorded in the inspired text—and God still speaks through His Spirit working in hearts. This past Sunday, I had reactions to the sermon as “on fire.” One sent me a message saying, “Your enthusiasm can take people off guard, but they need that. We all do!”
Enthusiasm. That is an absolutely appropriate word for me. The word comes from a Greek phrase ‘en Theos.” That means, “In God.” God puts His excitement and passion in us. And the more we study, the more we pray, the more we connect with His people and contribute to His Kingdom, the more passion He gives us to sustain us during the valleys.
Enthusiasm is not a disengaged, unfocused, undirected energy. Enthusiasm is engaged in the work and Word God called us to. It’s focused on learning and digging more into the work of the Lord and the Lord of the work. And the vision God gives a direction in which to move forward.
When God redeems hyperactivity, he turns in into a true and pure enthusiasm.
He really is able to do far more than we ask or think!