To live an uplifting life, enthusiasm is a quintessential quality to have, and when we’re on a roll, it is easy to come by. We can hardly wait to be with that special person or to hear that whatever we want to happen is happening. But what about those other times when the future doesn’t look so rosy? Where’s our enthusiasm then?

In times of trial, we can do no better than look to the life of Jesus, in particular to that fateful Thursday night in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing what was about to ensue. When the soldiers came to arrest him, he stood firmly in his spine and went to what he knew was going to occur.

Christ in Gethsemane,1886 by Heinrich Hofmann

This was his way of saying to all of us, when faced with an unavoidable situation, “Bring it on, because I know how the story ends, and this is just what I have to do to get to that glorious day.”

Why does our enthusiasm disappear at the first sign of a difficult challenge? Why do we tend to see only the crown of thorns and the cross ahead? Where is our faith in that glorious day to come?

I’m not making light of the tests that we are bound to face. I have tried to run from my share of them too, or groused about how unfair they appear to be before leaning into doing whatever needed to be done. But why do we so easily forget what this life is all about and what we have to do to reach the ultimate freedom and ever new bliss that is our promised destiny?

Jesus admonished us to feel that we have God already, because we do if we simply allow the awareness of it to infuse us. Yet, as tests arise, still we resist that superconscious mindset that would redeem our enthusiasm and get us to the goal so much sooner.

Jesus set the bar for us as high as anyone could. It was with the aim of inspiring us by his example. He accepted both his duty and his destiny with unwavering faith in God, and with love and forgiveness even for those who carried out his cruel death. 

Spiritual eye painting by Swami Kriyananda

Yogis know that enthusiasm, especially in the form of courage, is a daily practice. It’s about accepting what lies before us – whatever that cross might be – and seeing it as coming from God as a spiritual opportunity.

Jesus did not shrink from what he had to do. We talk of him making the ultimate sacrifice. We, too, even if not tragically, will be gone from here soon enough. But is that our story’s end?  Or, when bravely accepted, will it be a whole new beginning – a resurrection of consciousness – that brings us to a higher level of attunement?

The world out there is in a constant race to put out the fires of misery that it continues to enflame. We have to live in that world, but we don’t have to let it burn us. We have the means of our resurrection right here: faith in the destiny that Jesus has shown us, and the will to be about it.

We are homeward bound, all the sooner to arrive when enthusiasm is the engine we use to drives us.

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