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Find enthusiasts in your life, become one yourself | Faithful Living
During the last seven weeks we have taken a look at various pathways people choose in their pursuit of God.
If you are like me, I have walked more than one pathway throughout my life with varying results. Some paths I may not again take. Others I’ll walk weekly, if not daily.
The concept was developed by writer Gary Thomas in his book, “Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God.”
In it Thomas identifies “enthusiasts” as those who love God best, and feel closest to Him, when mystery and celebration is present. Enthusiasts are the ones who commonly seek worship that includes supernatural experiences. They are eager and open to varied expressions of faith.
Enthusiasts embrace mystery.
They are drawn to the notion that certain aspects of faith cannot be fully explained by rational thought.
Dreams often play a preeminent role in the lives of enthusiasts and are considered a blessing when they provide clear direction or a new insight into an ongoing struggle.
Enthusiasts are comfortable experiencing God in dreams because God is always pursuing us and dreams are one way God can “break in,” getting something across to us that we might not be open to hearing during the day.
I recall very few of my dreams, but one that stands out took place some months following the death of my beloved dad.
In this particular dream my family and I were visiting the Seattle Aquarium and after entering, I had hurried over to plunge my hands into the tide pool exhibit.
As I gently stroked a sea cucumber my attention was suddenly diverted and from across the room walked my dad. Seeing him and realizing it had been months since I’d been near him, I burst into tears. “Joan,” he said, “we love museums. It’s okay to be happy here. It’s time to stop crying.”
Was that God speaking to me? I believe it was; in His own time and in a manner I could accept.
Enthusiasts also embrace expectancy, so a carefully planned worship service where there is no room for God to move or people to respond instantaneously would seem unbearably stifling.
They pray and expect an immediate experience, some wisdom or a lesson from God.
They approach interactions with other people in their personal lives with the same level of expectation.They engage people in conversation with the goal of being able to identify ways to bring the hope, peace, comfort, or the love of God into those interactions.
They frequently seek out ways to engage children, knowing that moments like these are good ways to gain a new perspective and remember when life still held hope, promise, and joy.
And they are frequently driven to create things — expecting that in doing things like gardening, sewing, singing, baking, writing, or painting they will sense God and experience Him in a very personal way.
In a cynical and depressed world, enthusiasts point toward faith, mystery and expectancy. May you find one or be one this week.
Joan Bay Klope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org