NOUN | zeal

eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something

synonyms: passion, fervor, ardor, enthusiasm

The idea of passion or engagement or even rejection of passivity and apathy seems foreign in a world where disengagement seems to be the norm. Students are shaped by a media-frenzied society which promotes instant gratification. The outcome is a growing group of students who care very little for pursuits that do not immediately affect their day-to-day lifestyles. They are bored with life and see very little worth being passionate about.

We want our students to be a driving force in solving the world’s significant problems. Rather than being bored and disengaged with life we want students to be inspired to live as participants rather than spectators. This requires zeal and passion as students engage in constructive pursuits and problem solving. It requires intellectual curiosity and spiritual passion. Boredom should never find a foothold in life because the cure for boredom is curiosity; there is not cure for curiosity. (Ellen Parr).

Ultimately, we want our students to have a zeal for discipleship. This foundation, rooted in the pursuit of following Christ, will serve to guide students throughout life. Misplaced zeal or passion can lead to destruction. But having the discernment to pursue that which is good, beautiful and true requires wisdom that is found only in Scripture. “A disciple can be forgiven if he does not have great mental ability. He can be forgiven also if he does not display outstanding physical prowess. But no disciple can be excused if he does not have zeal. If his heart is not aflame with a red-hot passion for the Savior, he stands condemned.”  (William MacDonald, True Discipleship)

Romans 12:11 (ESV)

Never be lacking in zeal,
but keep your spiritual fervor,
serving the Lord.