Friday, Sept. 4: What are you passionate about?
This one is not as easy as it sounds. I tend to rule with my emotions, so on any given day I could be passionate about any given thing, depending on my mood. Hence, the need to filter through all those emotions to land on my true passions. As I have gotten older, things have shifted and I’ve been learning to curb the emotional tide that can overpower reason from time to time. I truly believe that our passions our woven together with God’s purpose for our lives, and as such, require careful curating.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Maybe the real passion comes from those things that emerge as the non-negotiables. Sometimes, we waste our energies and passions on causes that aren’t ours to bear. It’s rather like the overuse of the word love (guilty here, too!). We use love to describe everything from the latest trendy socks, to food, to our job and the people we’d do anything for. Sometimes in all that love, it’s hard to know what love really is. It’s more than a word to describe a feeling. It’s an action that springs up from our very depths and will not be squashed.
For example, I love Pizza, but I could survive without it. I love my husband and I don’t even want to think about surviving without him. Obviously, the word love here is used to mean more than one kind of love. I think it’s the same with passion. Some things on our passionate list may have more priority than others and listing them together may seem shallow. But, as long as we understand the difference, then I think everything I”m passionate about from the mundane to the world changing can make peace with being on the same list. From that list, I can then narrow my focus to those that are non-negotiable. Those that I will hold onto for dear life. Those that most define my God-given purpose.
Some of my current passions, in no particular order, are: Alzheimer’s, my husband, my family, chocolate, Italian food, Writing, decorating and organizing my home, napping, watching Blue Bloods, the current political and moral climate, enjoying a girls day out, taking drives, snapping pictures of everything, day dreaming and my faith in God and the gift of salvation.
I must add here, that I think the things we are passionate about don’t necessarily mean that we love all of them. Sometimes, our passionate focus on something can stem from our desire to fight back against that which we we truly hate. I also think that some passions are for a season and some are for life.
A prime example of this is the fact that my mother has Alzheimer’s. I’m very passionate about Alzheimer’s during this season of life. Not because I love the disease ( I truly hate all that it represents), but because I love my mother. I’m passionate about protecting her and helping her, not because I want to make decisions for her, but because she needs me to and I love her, so I want what is best for her.
Alzheimer’s was not on my passion radar until it knocked on my door. Whether or not it continues to be a passion hinges on a lot of variables, one of which could mean that I too may one day stare this ugly disease in the face. I passionately hope and trust not, but it is not mine to decide.
Another current passion that made my list is Blue Bloods. It’s just a TV show people. No big deal. Really, could I be any more shallow. Is it a true, fight to the death, passion? No, of course not. But, during this season of life it represents a lot of things to me: time spent with my husband, a chance to unwind from the real world, a glimpse into a family dynamic that speaks of love, service, trust and passion. All the things I think are important for family to cling to in times of distress.
Especially in times of distress. Those are the times we most clearly need to be passionate. Much of life requires us to fight for our needs to be met, to fight for what we believe in, to fight for what feeds our soul. It is during these times that we need to know what we will not give up.
I can give up Blue Bloods, I can even (hope I don’t have to) give up chocolate, or a lot of other passions, but there are a few that I will fight for such as my faith, my husband, my family my friends, and the need to be creative.
Writing is a gift from God and I know it is woven into the very fiber of my being. Even in those times when the well seems to be dry, or I am frozen to publish anything I still know that writing is a part of me. I still know that my survival hinges on being able to express my thoughts in words; being able to paint you a picture with my words. That is why I keep writing, even the mundane, so that I don’t lose touch with the passion of laying down words, because I don’t want to miss the day when the purpose in the passion shines through in the most brilliant of ways and my soul sighs in blissful contentment.
Finding purpose and passion in grace,