Nov 13, 2014

Be Enthusiastic!

by Kari Diane Pike

A couple of years ago, I set a goal to increase my physical health. Our daughter Kati encouraged me to train and participate in her neighborhood 10K as part of my fitness goal. My initial response was "Ummm..NO." Why would a fifty-something, overweight grandma wog, sweat, and crawl for six-and-a-half miles? Not to mention suffer public humiliation. I blogged about my decision to sign up here. Despite my fears, I ran and finished that race standing on both feet and I will never forget the smile on my grandson's face as he cheered,
Yay, Grandma! You did it...and you didn't even come in last!
Last week, my husband and I made a trip to Marana to help tend grandkids while Kati and her husband Chris hosted this year's Gladden Farms 10K and Half Marathon. I missed the start of the race, but I stood at the finish line as the runners started coming in. Memories of my own race flooded back. I remembered the heat, sweat, thirst, fatigue, pain, numbness, despair, hope, and jubilation. I could relate to the effort these runners had put into achieving their goal and I rejoiced for and with them. They inspired me to renew not only my fitness goals, but my life goals. And I wondered - why had I let my enthusiasm for those goals slip away in the first place?

If you spend any time on Facebook, you've seen at least one or two or a half-million video clips of free-spirited little tykes dancing and singing just for the pure joy in it.

Little children love life. They are filled with enthusiasm. Did you know that the Greek and Latin origins of the word enthusiasm mean "Inspired from God," "Having God within," or "Divinely inspired"? Children's hearts are filled with pure love and the way they so freely share  that joy is demonstrated by their guileless expressions. 

Sometime during my growing up years, I let the fear of what others might think crowd out my passions - the things I feel most inspired by and enthusiastic about...the things I love.  I realize now that I've been letting that fear hold me back from writing and sharing the things of my heart.

Yesterday, I came across an essay in LDS Living magazine that tells about the author's experience in a church congregation where one member sang the hymns very loudly - and very badly. While it bothered her at first, the author described how she grew in understanding. The closing lines of her essay read: time his voice inspired others to sing out. Instead of spending more time worrying that others might hear our less-than-perfect voices, we focused on raising our voices in praise to Him. Thanks to this brother who was unafraid to share his voice, in turn, many others found theirs. ~Erin Hallstrom, LDSLiving, Nov/Dec 2014, pg14
 When someone asks me, "How are you?", I usually respond with "I'm happy." I'm going to change that. Next time, I'm going to say, "I'm enthusiastic!" And I'm going to use that enthusiasm, that inspiration from God, to share my voice and hopefully help others do the same.

What are you enthusiastic about?



  1. Great post! I did not know that that's what enthusiasm means in other languages. That is so cool! I would have to say that I am most enthusiastic about writing and reading and editing. Although my love of tiny houses comes in a close second to those! :)

    1. Thanks Claire! A friend shared that definition with me a couple of weeks ago.

      Tiny houses rock, btw!


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