Have you ever noticed how birds immediately swoop down and take ownership of a freshly cut lawn? It’s almost as if when the mower fires up, so does their antenna. They hover while you mow, study the layout, and when the opportunity arises and the coast is clear, they waste no time in aggressively flying down for the feast. Robins are the same way after a freshly fallen rain. They know what they want. They see what they want. They’re intentional. They don’t hesitate. They go for it.
I guess I don’t normally pay that close of attention. But I was intrigued this week as I observed this very fact. It was almost as soon as I made the first couple passes in the yard, the birds (of different varieties) did this very thing. Call me crazy (or weird, or odd, or whatever), but I was really quite fascinated by it.
I don’t know if it was desperation for food in a hot, dry summer, or if it was just sheer zeal for what they wanted. If it’s desperation, I guess I understand that. But if it’s just sheer zeal, I don’t get it. I don’t get it because I’m not one of those people.
Contrast that with the neighbor’s big dogs, lying lethargically in the shade. Even the passing of a rabbit or stray cat doesn’t faze their apathetic selves. It’s as if they’re saying, “Life is good here in the shade so don’t bother me.” Now this, I totally get. I get it because I am one of those people.
I guess the question is: What kind of person are you? What’s your character like? Are you like birds that zealously go after what they want? Or are you one of those lazy dogs, lying lethargically in the shade, satisfied with the simple, effortless things of life?
Truthfully I don’t really like the question. Because I know how I’m “supposed” to answer. I guess zeal is good, and admirable, and respectable. Right? I guess maybe I should strive to be one of those 21st century women who go for the gusto and achieve every dream I ever had. Right? I could be Wonder Woman and zealously pursue the most rewarding career, zealously raise incredible kids, zealously attend church and get engaged in all it has to offer, zealously be a part of giving back to the community, etc. Right?
Hmm…. I probably shouldn’t comment.
I can’t answer for you and what path your zeal takes you. But I can tell you what the Apostle Paul says about zeal: “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11).
I don’t doubt that people lack zeal. But is it a zeal for spiritual fervor? Is it a zeal for serving the Lord? Or is it a zeal for career advancement, personal acclamation, material possessions, etc.?
In the Old Testament, Jehu, a prophet of Israel, met a guy one day. One of the first things he said to him was, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord” (2 Kings 10:16). I think that’s really cool.
Just think what would happen if God’s people would be on the path of more zeal for Him. A path more zealous for spiritual fervor. A path more zealous for serving the Lord. Wouldn’t it be cool if we were that passionate about the Jesus we claim as Savior? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could say to the people we meet: “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord”?
What path does your zeal have you on?