Thursday, April 21, 2011

Zeal for God

                As I was ready a fictional book called “Maccabee”, I came across an interesting quote that hasn’t left me since I read it.  “The others, the ones that left, will only fight when they fear they might suffer some personal loss.  Just like the pagans, their god is really themselves.  It’s always been that way.  It’s always the minority who have a true zeal for God.”  The last sentence really hit a chord in me.
                In the Catholic Bible, there are extra books.  I have heard the reasons for this many times, but I would have to look it up again to explain.  Someday I may go into that.  Until then, two of the books are titled I Maccabees and II Maccabees.  My Lenten goal was to study these books and read the fictional account.  I made it through I Maccabees, but not II Maccabees.  I have to say that it was a little dry.  It is a history of the Jewish people and how they battled to take Judea back from the pagans.  The Maccabees are a family, a father and five sons, who led the Jewish people.  Maccabee means hammer.  They crushed their foe.
                The quote comes from a fictional account.  I like the book a lot more then the Biblical account because there is wonderful character development, loss, and of course love.  After their father’s death, he left Simon as the people’s spiritual leader and Judas as their military leader.  Judas was discouraged by many of the men leaving their army to return home even though the pagans still held Jerusalem.  The quote comes from words Simon spoke to his brother Judas. 
                “It’s always the minority who have a true zeal for God.”  I can’t help but put other words into this sentence.  “It’s always the minority who have a true zeal for” country, writing, running, music, prolife….  Really any idea could be put in here.  The interesting thing is when I switch the words great people come to mind.  Those with a zeal for God are the saints, Gondi, Mother Teresa.  Soldiers come to mind when I think of zeal for country.  Writing would have to go to Stephen King, Terry Goodkind, and Danielle Steele.  I got to thinking about my zeal, if I have any.
                In one of our conversations, my son and I talked about faith.  I think I mentioned the quote.  He surprised me when he said I was the most “faith-filled” person he knew.  I laughed and said he needed to find someone better them me for that title.  I will admit that I was happy to see he appreciated my attempt at being a good follower of Christ.  Yet, do I have a true zeal for God?  These past couple of weeks it hasn’t felt like it.  I have completely botched all my Lenten commitments and writing this blog hasn’t been inspirational to me.
                I also think about my “zeal” for writing or the lack there of at the moment.  The truth of the matter is right now I have no zeal for anything.  My body keeps telling me to rest, but I want to accomplish something of meaning.  Instead of feeling like I am on a journey to holiness, I feel like I am on a journey to nowhere.  
                At my Bible study today, I mentioned my failure at my commitments and lack of zeal.  All I can really think about is all of my spring gardening that needs to be done; plus, all the prep work that needs to take place for my daughter’s first communion and my son’s high school graduation.  Oh, and I shouldn’t forget Easter and my middle child’s sixteenth birthday.  My dear sisters in Christ, reminded me of a couple of things.  First is it is okay to fail.  We can grow in failure.  The important part is we try.  I was also reminded it isn’t too late to work some more on my commitments.  Nothing says I can’t continue one of these commitments for the Easter Season or longer.  As for lack of zeal, I can’t remember how it was put, but so what?  The zeal will come back later when spring is over, the gardens are growing, and all of our family celebrations are over.
                Thank you ladies for helping me through and being such awesome mentors!  On my way home, I was inspired by a story idea.  The writing hasn’t left nor has the zeal.  I am just taking a rest.
                Blessing to you all.

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