Zeal

Why has the letter Z come to mean sleep as in “get some Zs”? Maybe because we sleep at the end of a day and Z ends the alphabet? Or some snoring sounds like a buzzz? My favorite Z word is jazz, which can be slow and sleepy, but usually connotes zing or zest as in “jazzing things up”. Jazz is passion. Robert Gelinas’ book, subtitled Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith, was one of many that spurred my zeal for Scripture.

The Lausanne Movement’s Capetown Commitment states: “We share God’s passion for his world, loving all that God has made, rejoicing in God’s providence and justice throughout his creation, proclaiming the good news to all creation and all nations, and longing for the day when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.”

Like the author of Psalm 119, sometimes “my zeal wears me out” (139), though I can’t tell God it’s because “my enemies ignore your words.” I like to think I don’t have enemies, and I don’t want to judge people’s appreciation of God’s word. No, my zeal wears me out and I grow “weary in well-doing” (Galatians 6:9), because I’m too full of myself, too eager for applause or at least acknowledgement.

God, forgive my foolish attempts to write with pizzazz. Forgive my yearning for recognition. May all who read my words, especially those who disagree, “see your zeal for your people.” Jesus, “you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us” (Isaiah 26:11, 12).

So ends this re-mulling of the 26 words from my first book. Thank you to all who walk with me the way of awe, bread, Christ, desire, earth-care, freedom, growth, hope, integrity, joy, keeping faith, living love, making peace; thank you, readers and writers who foster newness and over- coming through prayer, quiet and receiving; praise God for your shining, trusting, understanding, for your vigorous, vivacious voices whose work exalts Jesus. I salute you, people of eternal youth and divine zeal.

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