Eugene Ormandy may not be a name you recognize, but he was one of the most famous conductors in history. He served as musical director for the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1938 until 1980. He was also infamous for his verbal blunders. Here are a few:
“Thank you for your cooperation and vice versa.”
“Who is sitting in that empty chair?”
“Tonight I’m going to listen with my ears.”
“Bizet was a very young man when he composed this symphony, so play it softly.”
“Write it down in your own handwriting.”
Regardless of his gaffes, Eugene Ormady was highly respected for his inspired direction and style of conducting. On one occasion Ormady actually dislocated a shoulder while leading the orchestra. Halford Lacock remarked, “I don’t know what they were playing, but he was giving all of himself to it!” Then he quipped, ‘Did I ever dislocate anything, even a necktie?”
The word of the week is “Zeal.”
Thayer says that zeal is “ardor in embracing, pursuing, defending anything… Excitement of mind…Fervor of Spirit.”
Christians should be zealous in love for the Lord and our fervor in living the Christian life. Zeal inspires boldness. Courage. Commitment. Zeal fuels our energy. Invigorates the soul. Inspires the spirit. Quickens our emotions. And captivates the mind.
Jesus is our example in zealously pursuing the will of God and bravely standing up for Truth. When money changers and entrepreneurs had contaminated the Temple by their greed, Jesus drove them out and shouted, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:13-17)
As the disciples watched, no doubt with amazement, they remembered a quote from the Psalms that said, “Zeal for your house has eaten me up” (Ps 69:9).
Eaten up! That’s a good way to describe zeal.
Some folks are eaten up with the wrong things. Anger. Envy. Jealousy. And bitterness. These are destructive emotions that will eat you up. It is zeal that is misplaced. Misdirected. And misused.
Righteous zeal will eat you up good things. It is being consumed with Christ. It is passion for God’s purpose. His plan. His will.
In his sermon “Reigniting Your Passion for God,” Rick Warren wrote, The creative force behind all great art, all great drama, all great music, all great architecture, all great writing is passion. Nothing great is ever accomplished in life without passion. Nothing great is ever sustained in life without passion.
“Passion is what energizes life. Passion makes the impossible possible. Passion gives you a reason to get up in the morning and go, ‘I’m going to do something with my life today.’ Without passion life becomes boring. It becomes monotonous. It becomes routine. It becomes dull. God created you with the emotions to have passion in your life and He wants you to live a passionate life.”
That’s why Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). A full life. A rich life. A passionate life. A life fired with divine zeal.
The Bible says that Jesus came to earth “to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Titus 2:14)
Today let us live with zeal. Love with zeal. Work with zeal. At home. In our jobs. In our churches. In our relationships.
You don’t have to dislocate your shoulder to be zealous! But you can be eaten up with a God infused passion for living!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman