Riding the Waves in life… and enjoying the adventure!
17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men.
We have a choice in life in everything we do. What is our motivation and our purpose?
Are we just pursuing personal ambitions and goals in order to gain material things that we want, or maybe even things we need?
There’s nothing wrong with making plans and having goals, because certainly you will get to your destination easier with a map and a plan, than you will without; but for most people unless you are pursuing your life’s goals with a joyful and teachable heart, and also with enthusiasm, then you will many times get frustrated along the way,and quit prematurely, before ever finishing your project or achieving your goal.
That word “enthusiasm” is very interesting as we study its etymological roots:
Enthusiasm — from its source in Greek.
Enthusiasm first appeared in English in 1603 with the meaning “possession by a god.” The source of the word is the Greek enthousiasmos, which ultimately comes from the adjective entheos, “having the god within,” formed from en, “in, within,” and theos, “god.”
Over time the meaning of enthusiasm became extended to “rapturous inspiration like that caused by a god.”
Translated the word means “in or along side with God,” in other words whatever you do in word or deed, or in life, do it enthusiastically with God; and then God’s JOY will see you through. For the Joy of the Lord is our strength!
Many people will try as they will to focus on being disciplined and achieving their goals and sticking to their plans, and if you can do that consistently then that’s great; but most will fail because they make the process a drudgery, and will labor, sweat, and struggle every step of the way, and then quit with that goal or project unfinished.
What’s the point? You’ll fail about a third to half the time, and then feel like a failure for not being disciplined or sticking to your goal or plan.
In contrast, if you do the exact same thing with enthusiasm, as unto God and with God, and at the same time let go of the expectation you’ve set for yourself and just have fun doing it, enjoying the process, then you may find a different result. Let the JOY of the Lord be your strength.
Let’s take a few examples:
- If you set out on a really tough 3-day hike through some mountains, and make it through the first day and night but get too tired in the middle of the second day, is that a failure?
It is a failure if you are mad at yourself for not getting to the end, for not being disciplined. It’s a success, though, if you decided at the beginning to do it just for fun, as unto the Lord, and had a great time while you were doing it.
- If you start writing a book but only get about halfway through, is that a success or failure?
It’s a failure if you expected to get finished and are disappointed in yourself for not sticking it through to the goal. It’s a success if you decided to do it for fun, as unto the Lord, and had wonderful time writing.
- If you start an online venture and it doesn’t take off and you have to call it quits after a year — is that a failure?
Well, by now you know the answer. Have fun doing it, do it as unto the Lord, and it’s always a success.
The key is we are to seek God for wisdom and guidance in everything we do, first and foremost; and this is especially true if this is an important life goal that we are pursuing.
Next it is our persistence over time that will cause us to succeed.
Don’t think that you are a failure just because you fail a few times; the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is that those who have succeeded have learned not to quit!
The fact that you fail along the way is normal for most people. You learn from your mistakes and you keep moving forward, that’s the key; but you do so with enthusiasm, meaning you do it with God, and that makes all the difference in the world. It then becomes an adventure, and a learning experience.
If you go for a walk, a run, a hike, do it for fun, with joy, as unto the Lord, not just for the benefits that you might get. The benefits are an important part of it and are a motivation, but we must learn patience and long-suffering in the process. It is the process that is most important to God and our attitude while under pressure that He looks to.
Most people are merely thermometers and only reflect their environment; God is rather looking for us to be thermostats, which change it, by our very presence.
Do experiments in your life; try different things, and whatever you do, do it for fun, do it with joy, as unto the Lord; and not just because of the desired results.
If you persist, and don’t quit, the results will come in time; just probably not on the first time you try.
Life is a process that includes successes and failures, they are a part of the trip, so get use to it; and if you persevere to the end, you will succeed.
That’s the message of the Bible, as Paul describes it, when he tell us that we are in a race. We discipline ourselves and we train our bodies in order to win the prize, but the key thing in God’s Kingdom is that Jesus has already won the race for us; and the way we win is that we don’t quit!.
Wake up each day with expectation and excitement for what God has in store for you today; and then move forward throughout your day remaining connected to Him; acknowledging Him in all your ways, and being sensitive to His leading and direction moment by moment.
Merely enjoy the process instead of struggling always for the goal. Recognize too that any interruptions and/or delays that you may experience along the way may just be a part of that process, and should be accepted. Rejoice in the Lord, in EVERYTHING give thanks, for this is the well of God, in Christ Jesus for you!
This one is hard for me; but I have to always remind myself that, as promised in His Word, God is directing my steps.
Every waking moment should be lived this way..
It shifts everything. It doesn’t only determine whether something’s a success or failure — it changes your attitude while you do anything, while you’re talking with someone or reading or watching something. Your mood lifts, you are kinder to others, you have a smile on your face.
Do handstands. Dance. Bound up a hill. Sing with your child. Write something with a light and lifted heart. Be love, and compassion, and joy.
Enthusiastically live your life always connected to your Source (who is Jesus) and whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord! Selah