Friday, August 3, 2012

Passionate Living (And Dying)



The guy in the above video really really REALLY loves trains.

Know how I can tell? Passion.

He's got a fever...and the only prescription...is more classic trains.

You don't have to convince someone about your passions. It pours out of you uncontrollably. You talk about it spontaneously and naturally in conversation. You give your money for it. People begin to notice. You start getting labelled "the _________ guy/girl," with your particular passion filling in the blank.

The etymology of "passion" stems from a Greek word meaning "to suffer." One's passion is something one would, quite literally, die for. The guy in the video probably would die to save a train.

If you or I say "I'm passionate about Jesus" (or the Gospel or being in authentic community or sharing the good news of the kingdom of God), people shouldn't have to wonder if it's true. The passionate actions should remove any guesswork. If you looked at my calendar or my bank account, you could tell. If you listened to my conversations throughout the week, you would notice patterns.

The problem becomes when I claim a passion, but the evidence doesn't add up. The claim and the actions have a disconnect. Perhaps the evidence reveals a different passion, one that I might not find so appealing to share with others (like making myself look good).

I want the passions I have to be rooted the kingdom of God, but if I'm honest, my passions are mixed. I'm passionate about being good news in my neighborhood, but I'm also passionate about having my own personal time and space. I'm passionate about being in community with others, yet my calendar can quickly fill up with tasks and obligations that cause me to be isolated from people. I'm passionate about the kingdom of God, but I quickly defend my own plans and choices as I impulsively put myself back on the throne of my life.

The question becomes, what am I willing to die for? It's a question of values, because the people and ideas and practices I'm willing to die for are (likely) the most important to me. What am I dying for today? And is it really worth it?

What are your passion(s) based on the evidence present in your lifestyle? How would others identity your passions?

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