Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Enemies of Zest

zest - noun: great enthusiasm and energy; a quality of excitement and piquancy.

Does this sound like you?

I'm 20 years old. I've got a great life with wonderful family and friends, I'm about to embark on an amazing European trip, and the world is my oyster. Still, I find that at the end of most days all I can do is crawl into bed and think, "Well, better luck tomorrow." The day feels limp, wasted, meaningless. Spots of laughter, good food, and accomplishments spatter the day like dapples of sunlight, but there are shadowy places. 

Apathy, dullness, ennui. Arch-enemies of a vibrant, zestful life. How can we beat them?

The Enemies of Zest -

Original photo: #peeled #lemon, a photo by Sakena on Flickr.
The first step is to identify the enemies. What exactly is it that steals the zest from your life? Here are some ideas.
  • a job you hate
  • friends who drag you down
  • unrealistic expectations
  • weariness
  • a never-ending task list
  • worry as a constant companion
  • comparisons
  • an excess of television or internet
  • a spirit of ingratitude
Half the battle is knowing who to fight. We all have our personal nemeses. In some cases they are brutal and obvious, but more often they are subtle, cunning, and deadly. Like slippery tendrils of seaweed that wrap around our feet and drag us downwards, they seek to quench our joy and drain the zest from our day.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 
- John 10:10
Jesus is the key to a zestful life. It's so easy to derail our joy and succumb to the enemies, but in the end Jesus holds the key to taking it all back. If you aren't surrendering every area of your life to Him (that means your job, your free time, your expectations...), you will never escape apathy and disillusionment.

Today, take a few minutes to make an inventory of your enemies. Dig deep, peel back the layers, reveal the tender underbelly of your hangups and weaknesses, and be real.

Yes, it's going to hurt. Lemon juice in a wound is painful, but it does wonders for your skin. First find the knife (discover your enemy), then clean the wound (repent, change your habits, quit your job, give thanks, etc.), and then reap the benefits.

It's not easy, I know. One of my personal enemies is neglecting to prioritize. I while away the hours with time-wasters (Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, fill-in-the-blank) and put off the truly important things. Then I'm surprised at the end of the day when I haven't marked anything off my day planner! It drains my energy and doesn't make me feel "piquant" in the least!

What is stealing your zest?


  1. Love this post! Thanks for sharing! That refining process is a bit like lemon juice at times! I thank The Lord that he cares for me enough to reveal things I need to work on in my life :) it hurts at times though!

  2. Melinda3/20/2013

    I thought I had already left a comment on this post, but I guess I had forgotten to. Loved this post! Very inspiring, thanks for sharing your heart, Abigail!

  3. Thank you, Melinda! It's great to know this hit a chord.


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