At the beginning of December my husband and I had the incredible joy of being able to share in our 6 year old granddaughter’s first visit to Disneyland! I was excited about the trip, but that was nothing in comparison to the very visible eagerness of our granddaughter. On the first day in the park, her eyes got big and round as we entered the gates. Everything was decorated for Christmas and it looked like a child’s wonderland…well, Disneyland is a child’s wonderland! As she held onto her parent’s hands and anxiously pulled them forward, I could feel her joyful excitement to experience all Disneyland had to offer. Her child-like enthusiasm warmed my heart and I thanked God that we got to experience this day with her. We went on several theme rides geared toward children her age and on each one she blessed us with delighted cries of joy! Being the sentimental sap I am, I was close to tears the whole time! (In fact, I am now!) But one of the things that happened that has stuck with me the most is what she said following our ride through “It’s a Small World.” As many of you know, it is a simple ride showing children from different cultures around the world dressed in traditional clothing and singing. The ride had been renovated since the last time I had been on it and was decorated for the Christmas season. Around each corner we were greeted with animatronic girls and boys singing not only “It’s a Small World” but also “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. I have to admit that it was quite a sight. As we exited our cart and started to walk down the ramp to leave, our granddaughter exclaimed, “That was AMAZING!” I had to chuckle because even though the ride wasn’t as high-tech as some, through our granddaughter’s eyes, it was incredible. I loved her enthusiasm!
As I’ve thought about that day, I’ve wondered what has happened to our passion? It seems that as adults we are inhibited and don’t show the same level of enthusiasm as we did when we were younger. It is strange, though, because now as an adult, I understand more fully the blessings that God has given me. One would think that my enthusiasm would grow rather than diminish as I age. Jesus pointed out the importance of the attitude of a child’s heart when He said, “…I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
What was Jesus meaning? He was pointing out that He desired us to come before Him with the same trusting and joyful hearts as children. Why, then, are we so often afraid to express our joy to the fullest? Are we thinking others will think of us as undignified? Maybe so. But even David, a man after God’s own heart, danced before the Lord in an “undignified” manner. (2 Samuel 6:14-22). David danced with enthusiasm for the God he loved!
In etymology, I discovered that the word “enthusiasm” comes from the ancient Greek word “entheos” or “in-God”. It means “divinely inspired and inhabited by the Spirit of God”. What a blessing! As a Christian, I have invited my Savior into my heart and so I should rejoice with enthusiasm! I want my Father to see the unhindered appreciation for Him in everything I do! Each day that we breathe is a gift from above. Let’s not be “ho-hum” Christians, mechanically moving through the motions of religion. Instead, let us celebrate our joy in the Lord with enthusiasm and let our actions show that His Grace is AMAZING!
Personal Update: My dad went home to be with the Lord on Monday evening. His struggle on this earth is now over and he is at rest. I am comforted to know that Dad is safe in the Shepherd's arms. I will share more later, but I want to again thank all of you for your heartfelt prayers and concern. Blessings to you!
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