Z is for Zealous

ZWow. 26 days, 26 letters of the alphabet and 26 posts and nearly 26,000 words. I wasn’t sure I could actually do this but here it is, the last day! Not only did I finish what I started, but I think it’s safe to say that I have established a new zealousness for writing and for that I am am truly grateful.

Zealousness is a funny thing. It can so easily slip from being a good thing to bad and it seems there are many things that are “acceptable” to be zealous about while there are other things that are not.

For example, living in Denver, it is not only okay but really expected that I should be a zealous Bronco fan.

zealous-for-good-6-728I am overall a zealous person. I am passionate about so many things in my life – the care and rights of animals and children, music, acting, my faith and, newly reborn, writing.

When asked about the things I care about, my whole being seems to get involved in the discussion. I feel my heart rate elevate, my speech pattern change, and my hands – which are animated when I talk anyway – take on a life of their own. I’m sure I look like a crazy person, but honestly, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I would rather be fervent about even one thing than go through life never having found my passion.

But being a zealous person has a price.

Throughout the Bible, those who are zealous for the Lord have lost everything. In 1 Kings, Elijah weeps to the Lord about the tearing down of alters and forsaking of the Lord’s covenant and due to Elijah’s zeal for God, the people seek to kill him.

In the New Testament, Mark was so zealous a proclaimer of Jesus that his words put Jesus in further danger and He and his disciples were forced to stay in unpopulated areas for safety.

Zealousness can be equally dangerous for others things in our life as well. The more passionate we become about something, the more adamantly those who believe oppositely will fight. I mean, take a look at the political atmosphere in our country today and this can be clearly witnessed.  It almost doesn’t seem worth it, being a passionate person, and yet one can’t really change their nature, can they?

Even if I could change my basic nature, I wouldn’t choose to, even though I realize the following things about my zealous nature.

Being zealous means despite the desire to be a member of the “popular crowd”, particularly when I was younger, I am willing to be ostracized from them now. It means often feeling like an outsider and choosing to stay that way than change my thoughts, feelings or beliefs to make myself more mainstream. And it means that I am often seen as “challenging”.

I’m okay with that.

Buddah zeal

I’m also okay with the fact that my zeal for my faith has been one of the things that has made my dating life..umm…quiet.

I am content with the fact that my zealousness about wanting to have a job that is meaningful to me is part of what makes my day to day grind so much harder than it probably has to be.

And I am accepting of the fact that my zeal to live the life God intends me to live means that I am also zealously looking at my thoughts, words and deeds to try to make sure I do not dishonor God. Clearly I am not perfect and therefore do dishonor Him from time to time, but I continue to try to act as God would have me act.

Funny thing is that even though the things I am zealous about are things other are equally fanatical about, my zealousness is very different than others. Though I am sold out for my faith, I don’t believe that my faith calls me to relate only with other believers or to condemn those who don’t believe the way I do. Though I am dedicated to the rights of animals and children I have never participated in protests or political rallies for their causes. And while I am zealous about my hobbies – music, theater and writing – I have not come to a place in my life where I am willing to forego a steady paycheck for the ability to do these things full time.

Reading through that last paragraph, maybe you may not see me as zealous as all, but I feel it in my heart. for me, the difference is I have not yet come to a place i my life where I feel comfortable letting go of stability and safety. Maybe this will change, maybe it won’t. I believe God will show me if I need to adjust this.

GoldsmithFor now, I will continue to maintain my focus on these things that are important to me and I hope that I as my writing continues, you will continue along my journey.In the meantime, than you for taking the time to spend the last 26 days with me. I pray you have been blessed by my thoughts.

And now for a nice glass of wine to celebrate the end of this small journey.

Until next time…

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