Today’s small group ministry session based on resources from SpiritualityandPractice.com is on Enthusiasm.
Indecent Exposure of the Heart
It is important to energize our everyday practice and daily good works with enthusiasm, without anyone else telling us to, but doing it for our own sake.
— The Dalai Lama
A Teaching Story from Daybreak Within: Living in a Sacred World by Rich Heffern
Rich Heffern, associate editor of Praying Magazine, writes about Christianity as a gateway to a sacred adventure that permeates all of life. In the following passage, he celebrates enthusiasm as a spiritual practice.
Hildegard of Bingen, twelfth century mystic, counseled her spiritual directees to be “juicy people,” folks who are so filled with wonder and curiosity, with lusty appetites and high spirits, that they embrace life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with a burly, grinning bear hug. To be juicy is to be: a fearlessly joyous optimist, a troublemaker tirelessly afflicting the comfortable, a passionate lover of good talk and tasty food, an anonymous prophet hovering over the cosmological riddle, a frequent violator of the ordinance against indecent exposure of the heart, and a guerilla in the insurrection against Dream Molesters everywhere.
Questions: Describe a specific incident when you were enthusiastic about a project. What was it? How did the people around you respond to your excitement? Did anyone try to take the wind out of your sails? How did you handle the situation?
Check-out/Likes and Wishes
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. The way of life is wonderful; it is by abandonment.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson quoted in Lighting a Candle by Molly Young Brown
To Practice This Thought: The next time you feel like you need a nap, instead do something you are really excited about.
For a PDF version of this small group ministry session, click here: Enthusiasm.
For more information on small group ministry, visit the UU Small Group Ministry Network.