zeal: for all seasons

Something stirred this thought again today, and so I share it:

We were exhorted yesterday, reminded of things we ought not forget, and yet somehow always do. I was listening, really listening, and I want to rise to the challenge to love Jesus according to His great example and not according to the world’s sensibility.

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. —Rom 12.11 (ESV)

Zeal has nothing to do with physical age, spiritual age, season or calling. God doesn’t expect us to outgrow zeal along with Mountain Dew and Hilary Duff. He doesn’t think it’s another name for the bubble of bliss in which the newly saved walk. There’s no renouncement of it written into wedding vows, because it’s supposed to carry over from single to already-taken. And it’s not in the job description for youth pastors only, along with the ability to look way-cool.

It’s for all of us, all the time, until Jesus takes us home. It’s not a matter of style; it’s a matter of whether or not we’re spewn with great disgust from the mouth of God. The young can be filled with zeal, because it doesn’t require great wisdom and experience, but simply a revelation of God’s love. The old and arthritic can be consumed by it, because it’s not about dancing to the fast songs, but about a life that is poured out selflessly.

It’s about priorities, about fire in the bones, about being so wrapped up in the Second Coming that we sort of forget about prestigious college degrees, Pottery Barn couches, and making sure our kids don’t miss a season of soccer.

It’s about letting the embers of love be stirred so that we start to live like strangers and aliens, more like ambassadors; not so much for Now, more for Already and Not Yet.

(a repost from the archives.)

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. –colossians 3