Message of Faith – The Power of Zeal

This weeks Message of Faith submitted by Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

The Power of Zeal

According to, Charles Fillmore was 94 when he affirmed, “I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me!” I find such inspiration at the idea of Charles sizzling with zeal at the age of 94. I love the image of him springing forth with mighty faith. This is the power of zeal in action!

Zeal is the affirmative impulse. Charles Fillmore tells us in the Revealing Word that zeal’s command is go forward. Zeal carries us through no matter what challenges we may experience as we carry a Divine Idea forward into expression.

Zeal is an old fashioned word that is seldom used today. Etymology online tells us that zeal is passionate ardor. It also indicates ardor to be a burning flame, and passion to be enduring. Zeal, then, is the burning flame of endurance. It is the fire within that moves us forward enduring through any obstacle that might arise. The color of zeal is orange, the color of the burning flame of endurance.

Like each of our powers, zeal can be used in powerful ways centered in possibilities, or in destructive ways centered in problems. Centered in possibilities, zeal harmonizes, unifies and brings together. Centered in problems, zeal divides, polarizes and causes separation. Looking around our world today, there are plenty of examples of zeal that divides and polarizes. Our current election cycle and acts of terrorism are but two examples. Harmonizing zeal can be experienced through the free hugs movement or through an individual like Malala Yousafzai.

ski-jumper-WEBZeal is what carries you through when others are questioning your thoughts, words and actions. I recently saw the movie, Eddie the Eagle. Eddie, born Michael Edwards, knew at a young age he wanted to be an Olympic athlete. He was on Britain’s downhill ski team but did not qualify for the 1984 Olympics. Out of funds, with no sponsors, Eddie decided to pursue ski jumping instead. Britain had not had a ski jumper in the Olympics since the 1920s. Eddie had never ski jumped once when he attempted first the 10m then the 15m and finally the 40m all in one day. Most Olympic athletes took 3 years to complete all three jumps. In two years, Eddie barely qualified for the 1988 Olympics. While the other athletes saw him as a joke, Eddie’s passion caught fire in the crowd. It was at the 1988 Olympics that he became known as Eddie the Eagle. He made his virgin jump on the 90m at the 1988 Olympics. He came in dead last. He truly exemplified the spirit of the Olympics held by its founder, Pierre de Coubertin, who said, “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” Eddie’s zeal moved him forward to become an Olympic athlete in spite of the idea that he did not deserve to be there.

It is likely that we have all experienced people opposed to what we are doing. In Unity, we talk about being the light of the world. It is likely that the idea that we are here to be the light is met by those who don’t understand as being naïve. There are those who will say the world will never change. Peace will never be experienced. Good will never fully conquer evil. And yet, our zeal will carry us through the naysayers just as it carried Eddie to the 1988 Olympic Games. The end result is not the most important thing. The most important thing as that we all simply show up and do our part to be the light. Allow your zeal at this idea to be the forward movement to shining your light in your thoughts, words and actions.

How are you using zeal in your life? What is moving you forward through your day? Are you fairly sizzling with zeal and enthusiasm as you spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by you? You have the Power within you to harness your enthusiasm in powerful, harmonizing, and transformative ways.

This week, use the power of zeal to fuel your actions. Begin each day in the affirmation, “I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me.” Throughout your day, pause and ask, “What is mine to do here?” Then move forward enthusiastically and take action in loving wisdom.

Abundant peace and blessings… Rev. Joanne


Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, OH. She served as the minister at Unity in Edinboro for 13 years before taking on this new position on November 1, 2014. She lives in Hinckley, OH with her husband.

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