“Why am I here?” “What is life all about?” “What is the purpose of existence?” In today’s economic and social environment, these are not questions for just philosophers, or the rich and famous.
In general, we are stimulated, motivated, and interested in what has value and significance for us now, or in the near future. If in meeting our needs and wants at this stage in our lives, we can get enjoyment, gain approval or avoid disapproval of relevant people; then we stay keen, eager and committed. These descriptions fit neatly into one English word, enthusiasm. The dictionary defines the word as – strong feeling of admiration or interest, great eagerness.
The word enthusiasm derived from a Greek word “entheos”. En means “in, within,” and Theos means “god.” So enthusiasm in its original really means, inspired by God, or having God within. When taken with its original and its present day meaning of strong feeling of interest and eagerness, the phrase ‘with enthusiasm’ describes how followers of Christ should practise their faith. The level-headed scholar the Apostle Paul describes his strong feeling of interest and eagerness for preaching the Gospel and caring for the churches. He frequently attributes his approach and fervour to being inspired by God and having God within him (1 Cor 15:10; 2 Cor 11:16-28).
Some may say that it was Paul’s full time job, so enthusiasm had to go with his territory. It is easy to get enthusiastic about a ball game or a hobby, but when the hero, icon, or prime cause of belief is invisible (like God or Christ Jesus or the Holy Spirit) then, I think enthusiasm is the crucial companion to faith. Faith assures you that your interest to connect with the ultimate divine being, your interest in the search for values and deeper meaning to life; your interest to belong to a like-minded community, will have a satisfying reward and the desired outcome. Enthusiasm keeps you doing what really interests and stimulates you. This is why apathy, indifference, and boredom are so dangerous to religious institutions, individual spirituality and people generally. These three assassins act in direct opposition to being divinely inspired or possessed by God. Enthusiasm on the other hand, helps sustain your interest, fuel your energy, and keep you doing those things that will take you where you are destined to be.
Enjoy the journey.