Make Enthusiasm Work for You
“Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you coastlands and you inhabitants of them!
Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing; let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD, and declare His praise in the coastlands. The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His Zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.” (Isaiah 42:10-13)
Larry Izamoje’s voice on air vibrates with palpable passion. As a sports broadcaster, his hallmark is unparalleled enthusiasm for his chosen profession.
He started as a newspaper reporter. He had a meteoric rise, ascending within a period of four years to the post of deputy group sports editor, and beating his superiors easily in the race to the top.
With this steam of enthusiasm, he resigned from his job and launched into the broadcast business in 1993, presenting sports programmes on radio and television as an independent producer. That venture has now become a full-fledged sports radio broadcast outfit a phenomenon a newspaper called, ”a fairy tale success.”
His passion from the beginning kept him toiling and labouring. According to a newspaper feature on him, for six years he drove daily from Lagos to the radio house in Abeokuta, a distance of about 80 kilometres. He slept little and was more on his feet. He found kola nut a useful ally in keeping sleep away so he could keep up with an 18-hour work routine. But the kola nut did fail him once. He slept off behind the wheel at Sango Ota, a suburb on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria, after a long day at Abeokuta. Thank God he was not driving; he was held up in traffic.
The beginning was a period of the familiar lean purse. But Larry had this to say about the situation, “I did not have it (money), but must you have enough? You must have enough, not of money, but of drive which comes down to passion.”
All through the Psalms, and in fact the Bible, we are admonished to sing unto the Lord, A number of times, the prevailing circumstances do not warrant singing. Why then the admonition to sing?
One reason God gives us so many personal admonitions and promises in His Word is to stir up our enthusiasm. What then is enthusiasm? The Webster’s Dictionary defines it as a strong excitement of feeling; something inspiring zeal. Zeal implies the energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause. Enthusiasm, therefore, suggests a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause or activity.
No one is as bankrupt as a man who has lost his enthusiasm. If a man loses everything in the world but has enthusiasm, he will rise again to success. Enthusiasm is a triggering mechanism that can cause you to continue day after day to put everything you have into anything you do. It is looking beyond the present and seeing your desired end, irrespective of the prevailing circumstances.
It was Charles Swindoll who said, “Knowledge is essential in life, but knowledge without enthusiasm is like a fire without air; like a pool without water; like a bed without sheets and like a ‘thank you’ without a smile.” Enthusiasm acts as the oil on Saturdays in our home when it is clean-up day and the family machine needs a boost.
Now, have you ever wondered what Thomas Edison and Abraham Lincoln had in common? What did John P. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. share that caused them to affect so many people the way they did? Why were they able to get themselves to consistently take effective actions toward the accomplishment of their dreams? What was the drive behind their achievements? Enthusiasm, of course! This was the secret behind Nigeria’s Olympic football team’s victory in Atlanta ‘96.
- You may have a dream, but only enthusiasm can add a reason to it.
- You may have a project, but only enthusiasm can add permanence to it.
Enthusiasm is such a force that it will cause people to stay up late and get up early. Athletes feed on it. Salesmen are stimulated by it. Teachers count on it. Students fail without it. Leadership demands it. Projects are completed because of it.
We find an excellent example of enthusiasm in Luke 19:1-10. It is the story of a man who had a dream to see Jesus and so embarked on a mission. His name was Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector and a wealthy man. The Bible states in verses 3 and 4 of that Scripture, “And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.”
This man had a lot of odds against him in his bid to see Jesus. The crowd with Jesus was intimidating. To make matters worse, the Bible states that he was a short man. The only thing he had working for him was his enthusiasm. In fact, it was his enthusiasm that provided him with a creative solution to beating the crowd and the problem of his stature – he climbed up a tree! His enthusiasm provoked unusual action. Do you know what? With his enthusiasm, he got more than he desired. We read in verse 5 that when Jesus got to the place he was, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” His enthusiasm opened an unexpected door for him. Your enthusiasm will work for you any day.
Without enthusiasm, you will scarcely accomplish anything significant in life. And this is why Paul, in 2 Timothy 1:6, would say to Timothy, “Stir up the gift of God which is in you.” That is enthusiasm! All Paul was telling Timothy is, “Get enthusiastic. Timothy, you have what it takes. Timothy, you have a lot happening for you right now, so step into it.”
And this is true of you, too. You already have what it takes. God has given you the grace to fulfil that vision. You have more than enough to accomplish that project. You have what the world is waiting for. So stir it up. In other words, get excited about it. Fan it into flame. The truth is, your dream will always be bigger in you than it is in others. Your God-given gift of enthusiasm will always keep you energetic in the pursuit of your goals in life. So do not play it down.
To enhance your enthusiasm:
1) Spend enough time in the presence of God to get His complete plan.
2) Do not wait for others to fully support you.
3) Align your conversation with faith instead of fear.
4) Get excited about your dream all the time.
5) Focus on activities that you have a passion for and for which you have a natural inclination.
There is no greater source of enthusiasm than the Word of God. Cultivate the habit of spending quality time in the Word.
And rejoice always. The truth is, your strength is in your joy. As the Bible states in Nehemiah 8:10, “… for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” So avoid anything that will rob you of your joy. To rob you of your joy is to rob you of your enthusiasm.
See you at the top!
Pastor Taiwo Odukoya