THE POWER OF ENTHUSIASM
Our theme for this month is "Ultimate Power Tools"! In your workroom at home, power tools make any job go smoother, quicker and easier than do hand tools. Wouldn't it be nice if we had such power tools for living? Well, we do! During the month of November, we'll plug in and explore just a few.
Emma Curtis Hopkins -- a woman who knew about spiritual power tools -- once said: "We have unlimited POWER. If we do not USE that power it does not alter the fact that it is our INHERITANCE."a
Today our Spiritual Power Tool is "Enthusiasm". Not "enthusiasm," but "Enthusi-usi-usi-asm!" Like this . . .
A young boy was sitting on a park bench with one hand resting on an open Bible. He was loudly exclaiming his praise to God. "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! God is soooooooooooooo great!" he yelled without worrying whether anyone heard him or not.
Along came a man who had recently completed some studies at a local university. Feeling himself very enlightened in the ways of truth and very eager to show this enlightenment, he asked the boy about the source of his joy.
The boy replied with a bright laugh, "Do you have any idea how awesome God is? I just read that God opened up the waters of the Red Sea and led the whole nation of Israel right through the middle."
The enlightened man laughed lightly, sat down next to the boy, and began to try to open his eyes to the "realities" behind the miracles of the Bible. "That can all be very easily explained. Modern scholarship has shown that the Red Sea in that area was only 10 inches deep at that time. It was no problem for the Israelites to wade across."
The boy was stumped. His eyes wandered from the man back to the Bible lying open in his lap. The man, content that he had enlightened a poor, naive young person to the finer points of scientific insight, turned to go. Scarcely had he taken two steps when the boy began to rejoice and praise louder than before. The man turned to ask the reason for this resumed jubilation.
"Wow!" Exclaimed the boy happily, "God is even greater than I thought! Not only did He lead the nation of Israel through the Red Sea, He topped it off by drowning the whole Egyptian army in just 10 inches of water!"
ENTHUSIASM FOR GOD
Now that's the kind of enthusiasm I'm talking about! Enthusiasm for the miracles -- big and little -- of life! Enthusiasm for the power and the presence of God in our lives!
But, you might be thinking right now - I've got all sorts of challenges facing me or I look at all the pain and sorrow in the world and the last thing I need is a cheerleader up here telling me to put on a happy face and be enthusi-usi-usi-astic about life! Well, we're going to take it deeper than that this morning.
* First by exploring what "enthusiasm" really means -- and what it doesn't mean.
* Second by exploring how to ignite it, activate it, and stir it up.
1. MEANING OF ENTHUSIASM
What Does Enthusiasm Really Mean? Does anybody know what the word "enthuse" really means when we trace it back to its origin? Coming straight from the Greeks, the word "enthuse" is made up of two parts - "en" and "theos." And "theos" in Greek means God. So "entheos" or "enthuse" literally means "God inside," "God infused," "God filled." Thus, "enthusiasm" is the act of expressing our "God filled-ness".
Jesus said to his followers: "I am in my father, and my father is in me, and I am in you."b I believe Jesus came to lead us to an awareness of "entheos!"
In Talks on Truth, Fillmore writes: " Your I AM is the Son of the God Idea, and all the possibilities of the Principle, through that Idea, are open to you. To "know yourself" is to know that you are I AM, and not flesh and blood."c
So if "enthusiasm" is the act of expressing our "Godfilled-ness," then what is it not? Well, it is definitely NOT impatience or impetuousness. Someone once said, "The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps his cool."
Enthusiasm is power, but power can easily be dissipated if it is not harnessed and channeled. The impatient or impetuous person doesn't allow his inherent enthusiasm to sustain him so he's like a super nova -- burns hot and bright, but burns out fast!
Recall the time the disciples encountered Jesus walking on water. Impetuous, impatient Peter jumps over the side of the boat and starts out toward him. And he has the ability to walk on the water as long as he had his eyes on Jesus -- which metaphorically means taps into his God filled-ness. But then, impetuous that he is, he looks down and realizes that he is actually walking on water. What happened? He got scared and he began to sink.
Enthusiasm, real enthusiasm (not impatience), is part of your natural state, not an emotional response when "good" things happen in our lives! What does this say about us? It says that enthusiasm is not a result or an effect, but rather a cause!
This is important -- very important! So, I'll say that again, enthusiasm is not a result or effect, but it is a cause. When you develop the ability to connect with your inherent enthusi-usi-usi-asm, you place yourself consciously in the surging, flowing, ever-creating tide of life.
Being enthusiastic does not mean denying facts. Yes, there are a lot of "yukky" facts in life and genuine enthusiasm is not blind to them; however, it supports us throughout whatever is going on in our lives and in life around us in powerful, powerful ways.
2. IGNITE, ACTIVATE, AND STIR UP ENTHUSIASM
How to Ignite, Activate, and Stir Up that Inner Enthusiasm Even in the midst of challenges, you can proclaim your GOOD! That is basically what Paul was saying to the Philippians. "You have had some quarrels in your church there at Philippi," he pointed out, "and there is a lot to be anxious about, but brethren . . . ". . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is an excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things . . .and the God of peace will be with you."d
So we do not deny the problems that exist in our lives or in our world, but instead we turn them into promises by turning our thoughts to God and knowing that a "God-filled" life, a life of enthusiasm, will lift us over all challenges.
I can hardly speak about stirring up that inner enthusiasm without sharing Fillmore's most famous statement he made when he was already in his 90s. You know it, don't you? "I fairly sizzle with joy and enthusiasm and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me."e
I spoke of Emma Curtis Hopkins, a woman of power, a moment ago. In her great book Scientific Christian Mental Practice, she talks about proclaiming God by proclaiming your Good! And while she does not use the word "enthusiasm," that is what she is talking about.
She writes: "You would soon be set on the right track for finding what you are seeking if you could name what you want. And what you want is the GOOD. Are you not seeking Good? Why do you move your right hand? You move it to get your Good. Why do you breathe? You breathe to get your Good. Why does the bird fly? It flies for its Good. Everything moves and waits for its Good. And the Good which you are seeking is God. At the word 'God' many a mind rebels, because it has become bruised by trouble and disappointment. But at the idea that there is Good for everyone and everyone ought to have his Good, each mind agrees. . . . The acknowledgment that 'I am seeking my Good, and my Good is my God' is telling a simple Truth. God, the Omnipotent Good, works through the word of Truth. Get to speaking the word of Truth from the first to the last statement, and God will be found working for you and through you, with almighty power."f
In the Scriptures we read, "Prove me . . and I will pour you out a blessing."g "In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy path."h To acknowledge God is to enthusiastically name and proclaim your Good regardless of what the conditions and circumstances may be saying.
In paraphrased words of Emma:i You may name your Good as your FREE LIFE. When you speak for yourself, you speak for the world. It is the one chord to which, if you speak it, all nature will spring free. There is no opposition to that Truth when you speak it.
You can name your Good as HEALTH. All nature will say "Amen!" if you proclaim that the Good you are seeking is health. Nothings wants its health interfered with, it wants unlimited health.
Another name of Good we are seeking is STRENGTH. All things look for strength. They love strength. The baby laughs at every waft of strength through its little frame. The insect runs and rolls with speechless delight at every quiver of new strength. The Good it seeks is strength unlimited. It wants free, boundless strength. So do you. This is only naming God. It is telling the truth of God.
Another name for Good is SUPPORT. God/good is your support. You breathe for support. You hope for support. Thus one name for your Good is support. The heart beats in acceptance when we speak the Truth that God is our support and our support is our God.
LOVE is the Good we are seeking. Love is the highest name of God. Love is the fulfilling of the law. At the height of our spiritual teachings we find God is covering us with Love.
Love, Life, Strength, Health, Support are all names of our Good. So, how shall we arrive at our Good? Speak it out!
Emma writes:j "Truth does not have to make things new for you. In Truth it was so from the beginning. . . . . All Truth is waiting for you to say plainly what is your Good. The speaking out continuously what we have felt and thought intuitively is the first movement toward demonstration toward manifestation, toward satisfaction. Make now these statements of Good:
The Good I am seeking is my God, my God is my Life.
The Good I am seeking is my health, God is my health.
The Good I am seeking is my strength, God is my strength.
The Good I am seeking is my support, God is my support.
Life is God, Truth is God, Love is God, Substance is God.
All is God; All is Good!"
I think we ought to take Emma's advice, don't you? Let's make these statements our own right now.
The Good I am seeking is my God, . . . my God is my life.
The Good I am seeking is my health, . . . God is my health.
The Good I am seeking is my strength, . . . God is my strength.
The Good I am seeking is my support, . . . God is my support.
Life is God, Truth is God, Love is God, . . . Substance is God.
All is God; . . . All is Good!
Take a moment to feel into the energy in this room right now. It fairly sizzles with enthusiasm doesn't it? This feeling is contagious, my friends. I don't know about you, but I want to catch it and catch more of it and then I want to spread it around! How about if we all be contagions for God's Good? We can by firing up one of our ultimate power tools - the power tool of our innate enthusi-usi-usi-asm!
aEmma Curtis Hopkins
cTalks on Truth, Charles Fillmore p. 77
eUnity Magazine, September 2000, p. 28
fEmma Curtis Hopkins, Scientific Christian Mental Practice, p. 16
iEmma Curtis Hopkins, Scientific Christian Mental Practice, p. 18
jEmma Curtis Hopkins, Scientific Christian Mental Practice, p. 27