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Ego or Zeal?

How motivated do you have to be to risk your life for a goal?  And what would motivate you?  Why would you do it?

Did you see Sean White, the incredible snowboarder do a face-plant in the half-pipe last week?  It made the news.  When his head hit the edge of the pipe it looked like he should have been killed.  I guess the helmet did its job.  Apart from a pretty bad scrape on his jaw he appeared none the worse.  Not only did he continue in the competition, but he won it.  That was the story.  Instead of being knocked out of it, he won it.

The show 60 Minutes did a story on Sean White this past Sunday.  A fun, fascinating, over-the-top achiever.  Doing amazing things on a snow board.  We’ll see how he fares in the Olympics this month.

I find myself wondering what does it take to have the focus and drive for incredible achievement?  Is it even legitimate to aspire to such achievement?  Does one age out of that nonsense, becoming wiser, accepting limits and boundaries, satisfied with goals that don’t approach the stars?

Is the only force powerful enough to inspire great achievement ego?  I’m not making a judgment on Sean White.  But, does a humble person ever imagine great achievement?   

Perhaps a humble person rejects common notions of achievement.  No one ever accused Jesus of great aspirations, but he had them.  They were defined by the glory of God, expressed through his life and actions.  His critics certainly thought that he was driven by ego – crazy ego, identifying himself with God.  But, it was zeal that consumed him.

Remember the time he went off on the money-changers?  Who did he think  he was?  The zeal of his father’s house consumed him. 

How do you get crazy zeal for the glory of God?  Daily demands and roles seem too deadening to inspire zeal.  What does one have to imagine to get crazy zeal for God?  Sean White imagines doing tricks that no one has ever seen before.  And, he’s willing to risk his life for it.

Is it possible to have crazy zeal for ordinary roles?  Like being a parent, a student, a husband or wife, a programmer, a manager?

Maybe.

But, only if you have a hint of God’s vision for that role. Only if you can imagine the glory of God in that role.  God’s delight for that role, for your life.

I pray something like this, nearly daily:  Lord, give me your vision and passion for __________.  The answer may not look like a great achievement in the making, but it pretty much always produce focus, hope, and especially trust.

Where do you hope that God can do something great in your life?