Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” This quotation is taken from a plaque said to have been posted over the desk of General Douglas MacArthur. Someone else has said that to lose enthusiasm is to bankrupt the soul.

It is interesting to discover that the etymology of the word enthusiasm comes from theos, the Greek word for God. It literally means en theos or to have God within us; so it is quite true to say that a person who does not have enthusiasm (does not have God in them) has bankrupted his soul.

Consider what we have to be enthusiastic about!! We have the Truth, God has called us to His high and holy calling. We have become members of His royal family, Jesus Christ is now our elder brother, we are related to Abraham and an heir to the same promises God made to him. No one in all the world is as well off as we. And we’re not enthusiastic? Absurd. None have such reason to be glad. If a man just inherited a million dollars we can be sure he would be excited. We have more cause for being enthusiastic, for he can’t take it with him and within a few years he’ll be leaving it to someone else. Worldly riches also have a way of becoming tarnished even while in our hands, but not so with God’s promises. Even now, God has promised us “houses, and brethren, and sisters and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life”.

David was an enthusiastic man. Imagine him dancing before the Ark with all his might! No wonder he was called a man after God’s own heart. God surely would have us to be enthusiastic. He says, “Be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”

We all enjoy being around someone who is enthusiastic. God in describing creation to Job tells that “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” When His own son was born His angels enthusiastically proclaimed to the shepherds who were abiding in the field, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy”.

How are we reacting to the good tidings of great joy that God has revealed to us through the pages of His Holy Book? Does the Gospel message fill us with enthusiasm? Are we excited about our high and holy calling? “Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king’s son in law?” asked David. How can we fail to be excited about being a king’s brothers and sisters?

It has been said that if you can keep your head when everyone else is losing theirs, then you just don’t understand what’s happening. If we can stay calm and unemotional about the high calling to which we’ve been called, perhaps we just do not understand.

“Be glad in the Lord, rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” To be enthusiastic is to stay young and those who have en theos will be young forever, for “they shall shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars for ever and ever.”