A Desire to Be Passionate
I always wondered why I lacked passion. I watched the people around me pursue their passions and I oftentimes sat back and wondered why I didn’t have anything I was passionate about. Sure, I liked a lot of things. I enjoyed writing, being artsy, taking photographs, fitness, health, traveling…but as far as being so in love with any of those things that it consumed me? Not so much.
I have a friend who is passionate about fitness. She is a gym manager, and she does everything she possibly can to help others reach their fitness and health goals. She puts in extra, unpaid hours, goes above and beyond making class workouts and answers any question she is asked. She loves it. She is passionate about it.
I have another friend who is passionate about event planning. Weddings, baby showers, church gatherings, softball games, birthday parties – you name it, she’ll do it. She has a “take charge” personality, is organized and creative. She just started her own small business to promote her name and gain more event business in the area. She goes the extra mile to make sure that the event is perfect. She is passionate about what she does.
So where was my passion? I liked all the things I have done. I even loved some of them, at least for awhile. But eventually, I lost interest and didn’t do them as much. My camera only gets pulled out for extremely special events (I also blame my iPhone for that, as snapping decent-quality pictures with my phone makes lugging around a DSLR slightly pointless), my arts and craft bin stays stored away until a project comes along and my “health kick” falls off track when I find another new way to add chocolate into my life.
Ever searching, but ever failing to find it, I became dispassionate about finding my passion.
A Word to Describe Me
While in the car on the way to Starbucks yesterday (now there’s something I’m passionate about! Or addicted to…I think there may be a big difference there), I was again thinking about my passion, or lack thereof. The thought of it came and went like it normally does, so I didn’t put too much time into dwelling on it or getting upset over it.
Then last night, as I was filling out my application for Experience Mission‘s 3 month Immersion trip to Costa Rica, it asked me to list three words that my friends would use to describe me and why. I blanked. I also just wanted to know what they would say, so I text a handful of close friends who all know me fairly well, some more than others.
The first three responses I received were:
1. Friendly, warm, passionate
2. Passionate, motivated, compassionate
3. Passionate, loyal, generous/kind
WOW. Wow, wow, wow. These responses stopped me dead in my tracks. Passionate? Me? Really??? Surely they were kidding.
But here were their reasons why:
1. Halfway doing something just isn’t really you.
2. Because when you commit to something, you give it your all.
3. You put 110% into everything you do, even if you hate it (haha, this one came from my gym trainer…).
I spent a good amount of timing thinking on their words and reasons, and then I realized, they were right. These friends, who ranged from knowing me one year to nearly twenty years, know how passionate I am about one thing – LIFE.
If there is something to be done, I will do it. If it’s something I enjoy, I will do it. If it’s something I hate, but know it needs to be done, I will do it. I am passionate about doing and about living.
A Passion for His Name
As I continued filling out the application after Wednesday night church service, I realized why I had never before found anything that I was passionate about. I hadn’t found my “thing”, my niche, because I hadn’t yet discovered it. Not until God called me to missions.
Missions was always something I knew God had for me, but I was never ready to fully take up my cross and follow him. He was never my one and only desire. I wanted His love, but I wanted to live my life in my way. Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love, talks about being a “lukewarm Christian,” and that is exactly what I was. I was living with one foot in the church and one foot in the world, which the Bible says is an absolute “no-go”.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – Matt 6:24
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” – John 15:9
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
In Matthew 13:44, it says, “The kingdowm of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Chan writes that, “In this account, the man joyfully sold all that he had so that he could obtain the only thing that mattered. He knew that what he had stumbled upon- the kingdom of heaven – was more valuable than anything he had, so he went for it with everything in him” (Chan, p.66).
We are called to be so consumed and joyful in the Lord that we are willing to give it all away in order to pick up our cross and follow the Him. We are called to be a people passionate for his name.
I am so happy that I have discovered my true passion.