Enthusiasm can be contagious.
This is Scout, she’s Rebekah’s labradoodle. When Scout is excited, there’s really nothing else to do but to get on board for the ride.
In this picture – taken yesterday afternoon – Scout evidently can’t contain her enthusiasm for her new haircut. Or maybe she’s just happy to be home from the groomers. Or it could be that she’s smiling because she’s outside, or that her mama is holding the other end of the leash, or because it’s such a beautiful day….
Bottom line, it really doesn’t matter what’s going on – Scout is going to be thrilled to be there no matter what. Everything is her “favorite thing” because that’s just how she rolls.
We could all learn a thing or two from Scout Labradoodle. Such simple gratitude for the fact of being is a huge reagent – or change causer – in the equation of life. Life is an experience that needs to be actively engaged rather than something we wait to have happen to us. Scout always has a big time because she lives into that expectation.
Enthusiastic belief works because a bona fide appetite for life is always more about the person than the circumstance.
You can’t be neutral on life: I know some people who like to put a downer on everything. They crop up – even in church sometimes – wearing a perpetual scowl. If they ever had a “favorite thing” I can guarantee it’s long-lost in the selective memory of the past; you know, the mythological “good old days…”
The problem with the well-practiced scowlers is that they’re not neutral. You can’t be neutral on life. These folk are anti pizzazz, gusto and oomph. They’re not non-exhuberant so much as they are proactive agents of decay.
That’s when I wish sometimes I had the blissfully unembarrassed presence of a labradoodle.
- I could run up to them with a toy hanging from my mouth…
- Or zoom back and forth from the door, all the while grinning…”Let’s play?” “How about a walk?”… or “I could look adoringly at you while you scratch my ear?”
- “You’re my favorite person! I love you; I love you; I love you!”
- “Let’s play! Come on, come on, come on….”
Because life is something we have to step into – willingly, with enthusiasm and a purpose! That is, if we really want to carry life around and to share it like the precious gift it is.
In fact, generous sharing is pretty-much required if we want to experience enthusiasm for ourselves. It’s one of those “give it away and it keeps bouncing back” principles.
“We never really have anything until we give it away” is especially true if we’re genuinely interested in ramping up the wattage when it comes to the life-charged life.
I like the way Jesus ties this principle in to love:
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:10-15)
Talk about giving life away so that we can claim it for ourselves!
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.