Adam Nicolson writes about the battle of Trafalgar, a sea battle that consisted of a joint Spanish and French fleet against the Royal Navy of England. I purchased the book based on the titles of the chapters and have had various thoughts triggered as I read. The following series of posts is a compilation of those thoughts.
Chapter 1 – Zeal
Zeal is a word that still carries great weight in comparison to the word love which has been watered down in its meaning when it can be used to describe how I feel about about both my wife and Davanni’s Pizza. This word has punch and pesto. Samuel Johnson describes Zeal as having passionate ardour for any cause. I’m not entirely sure what ardour means but I know what it means to be passionate about a cause and it is this very thing that I find captivating about being a follower of Christ. We truly have a cause that is worthy of being passionate about. As Nicolson unpacks the backdrop of this naval battle you get the sense that the Spanish are identifying glory in an upcoming loss, the French are confused, beat up, and worn out, and the Royal Navy is consumed with winning each and every day. They have a zeal for victory. How easily it is to identify with these three postures in my own walk. There are days when I feel like I have already lost and the flag is already up, there are other days where I am confused as to what the real objective is and I easily hold the course or head the wrong direction, and then there are those days where there is extreme clarity. My perspective is focused and I am fully alive because I know the objective before me. Criticism within has and will continue to be a plague of the church but what is really hard is when those who have great Zeal for the Lord are criticized for their extreme passion and bold dreams. I believe what we are lacking are people who have Zeal. These are the people who want to charge into battle, win the day, take the hill, take a risk, and make something happen. They have a fire in their soul that is contagious and motivating.
Gut check time – Have you already given up? Are you dysfunctional in your direction and basically treading water with no purpose? Do you have any Zeal? Is your Zeal a passion for the cause of Christ?