Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
Charles M. Schwab started to work in the steel industry as an errand boy who did what no one else wanted to do. His pay was a whopping $1.00 per daywith no coffee breaks. Years later, though, Schwab ended up as chairman of the board at Bethlehem Steel. How did Schwab traverse the ranks from the surveying crew to board chairman? It was not easy. At least three things played an important part in his rise to success: Work, plenty of hard work; brains; and then there was another quality really an attitude that was very important. Schwab called it enthusiasm. He often said, “A man can succeed at anything for which he has enthusiasm.”
Enthusiasm in the twentieth-first century seems to have gone by the board, along with the horse and buggy and gas lamps. You do not meet many people any more who seem to possess any real excitement for the work they are doing, who tackle their jobs as though they are on a mission or, who have a genuine love for what they are doing, which is contagious.
Arnold Toynbee, the famed British historian, after studying human behavior spread across the centuries, concluded, “Apathy can only be overcome by enthusiasm and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: First, an ideal that can take the imagination by storm; second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.” Toynbee said that apathy could be whipped by two things: An ideal way out of the dilemma and a plan for getting rid of what disturbs you.
Charles Jones has been a remarkably successful insurance man. Enthusiasm has been one of his trademarks, so much so that he acquired the title of Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. He says, “A lot of people think enthusiasm or a cheerful spirit is something that falls on you! I want to tell you this with all my heart: it will never happen! The most challenging thing you will ever face in your life is learning every day to be excited about what you are doing.”
Excitement involves the “right now” not the “what you are going to do someday.” Recently I had a letter from a housewife who said, “I can get excited about almost everything, but the one thing that disturbs me is my housework. I just cannot get excited the least bit about that. Is there anything you can do to help?” Well, I am no expert on housework, so for a minute I thought about the blind leading the blind. Then I thought of a principle, one that has been a motivating tool in my work something that is just as applicable to housework as it is in a profession. Paul wrote to busy men and women in the city of Colosse and said, “And whatever you do, do it heartily unto the Lord and not unto men, know that of the Lord you will receive your inheritance” (Colossians 3:24).
Enthusiasm is an interesting response. You have to be sold on your product before you can ever generate enthusiasm for it. Enthusiasm starts on the inside and works outyou do not work it up. Our English word “enthusiasm” comes from two Greek wordsen and theos, which mean, “God in one.” A love for life begins right there in your heart. The Godintoxicated life is a life that has enthusiasm, along with reality and purpose. It is possible that life seems flat to you, because, as Toynbee suggested, you have never found that third dimension of faith. You feel trapped and hopeless. Come to grips with your life and learn that life is possible through God’s power. In the business world, enthusiasm is the yeast that raises the dough, but in the spiritual world, it is the means of living a life of purpose and meaning.
Resource reading: Colossians 3:18-4:1