Purpose and Enthusiasm: Profitable Partners
By Barrie Fox of Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England
For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, says the Lord that has mercy on you. —3 Nephi 10:18 Book of Mormon RAV
A burst of enthusiasm can quickly evaporate and rarely achieves the hoped-for results. I have come to realize it is the willing acceptance of church tasks—often considered small and not too exciting—coupled with hard work and a positive attitude, that keeps our church doors open and our congregations alive.
However, I have always encouraged the spirit of enthusiasm and believed that purpose and enthusiasm can become profitable partners. Two definitions of the word enthusiasm are “full of God” and “God’s spirit in the heart….” I both appreciate and applaud enthusiasm as it finds its place in our church.
Many good tasks, some with promising possibilities, are easy to put off. We often find a reason for not accepting some responsibility or role. Some challenging church tasks cry out for someone with our abilities to undertake. I have been there. I know, in my better moments, just how important my church life is to me, and how significant are my love of and belief in Jesus Christ.
A young daughter asked her mother, “If I’m very good today will you give me some money?” to which her mother replied, “I expect you to be good for nothing.” A person could easily take this the wrong way, but I believe all of us, in some way or other, hope to be good. Most decisions we make have some effect on the lives of others. I am grateful for those people who, knowingly or unknowingly, have supported and encouraged me in my life and my Christian efforts.
Prayer for Peace
Hurray, God, for we are full of you! Grant us the spiritual courage to share the peace of Christ.
Spiritual Practice: Experience Congregations in Mission
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 164:9a–d. Reread the sentence, “If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.” Make a list of the issues you feel mattered most to Christ. Make another list of issues that matter to your congregation. Reflect on the likenesses and differences. How can you help align the lists? Throughout the day, as issues arise, ask yourself, “Would this matter to Christ?”
Today, God, I will share the great news of Jesus Christ with enthusiasm!