It’s been a resounding concept in my head the last few months. One of my favorite movie quotes, (which I am fairly certain is still located on my Facebook “About Me” where I added it as a head-in-the-clouds sixteen-year-old), is from Dean in Serendipity. He states,
“Did he have passion?”
What are we passionate about, friends? In our daily lives, what passions are we displaying and demonstrating? In the moments and interactions of our every day, what are we showing others that we value, advocate, and believe? What treasures are we storing and fostering in our hearts, and what heart are we investing into others?
There are several things in my life that I am passionate about. I have deep-rooted passion for, and would debate anyone over, October being the best month of the year, Steve Martin being the zenith of patriarchal roles in the best movie ever made- Father of the Bride, El Tiempo mastering the art of arteriosclerosis in the form of butter-seared fajitas and green sauce, and of course, leopard print being a lifestyle “classic” staple. While I am being somewhat facetious- I am really not. Argue any of these with me. I dare you.
On a more serious note, I am extremely passionate about my job. Don’t get me wrong; there are some days I feel like I am Tom Hanks, drowning in documentation and crying out for Wilson- the last bit of sanity and organization- to come reach me despite the tossing waves of my poor time management. However, these moments are rare and fleeting compared to the immense joy and humility (and often entertainment) that I find in my job every single day. I am passionate about people, and unfortunately for my patients, silence is not an option in my treatment sessions. I talk and talk (and talk) until the individual starts to warm up to me, or at least decides to participate in the conversation before I enter into anoxia from not breathing between my rambles. I truly love people, love interacting with them, learning their stories, hearing their hurts, seeing their smiles, traversing their trials, and weekly walking aside them, even if its only sixty minutes of their journey. I thank God on a daily basis that He allows me to interact with these individuals and families on a daily basis and molds me through these encounters with His children.
With this passion in mind, I had a very humbling, touching moment a couple of months ago. I was working with a patient, discussing her future, asking her what she wanted to do next. She looks up at me and says, “I thought I wanted to do something different, but after working with you, I think I want to become a therapist too.” I cried on the inside, y’all. It made every drowning-in-paperwork-where’s-Wilson day worth it.
Now, I don’t say this to toot my own horn, at all. Because if I am honest, I am a hot mess more days than not, with patients having to remind me of the actual date, point out that’s the “left” not “right”, and deal with a girl who creates as much clutter as she has frolicking around in her prefrontal cortex.
I say this, only to establish my point that my passion for my job was evident. One definition of passion states, “a compelling enthusiasm”. One individual witnessed, and was potentially impacted, by a compelling enthusiasm that I have for my job and what I hope to do on a daily basis. One individual saw the light and joy that I have found in my job. My passion inspired her to contemplate the same path.
I will consider myself very fortunate and consider it a successful career if I look back one day and feel that I have, indeed, inspired others with this passion. I hope that my job matters, that my daily work matters, that others are impacted by my enthusiasm. However, if I look back on my life, and it’s permeated by only worldly passions, then I will have failed miserably.
Friends, it was a very touching moment that I had with that individual, but it made me think deeply about the purpose and meaning of my every day. I may be living a life displaying and demonstrating my worldly passions, but how am I doing on the forefront of eternal passions? How am I doing as an impassioned Christian in a less than lukewarm culture? Do I display and demonstrate “a compelling enthusiasm” for Jesus Christ, and do others see Him and His love in me? In the moments and interactions of my every day, am I showing others that I value, advocate, and believe in Jesus and His Word, His truth? Do I truly have and portray a passion for Jesus, or am I too consumed and immersed in the world and its temporality that my focus on the eternal becomes dim in the process?
If I am honest, I know that this is a passion that, more times than not, gets placed on the back burner. I let life get in the way. I let to-do lists, work, errands, poor time management, daily roles, Maltipoo madness, this ridiculously amusing and horrifying thing called “adulthood” overwhelm me. I let sin and its entanglements seize my heart, robbing me of the love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, and self-control that the Spirit wants to provide and invites me to share with others. I allow bitterness and judgment to settle where forgiveness and mercy should prevail. Where I should be bold and when I should speak, I instead fall short in lack of conviction and silence. Where is my passion?
Church, where is our passion? Where is our compelling enthusiasm for the Jesus who redeemed us, covered our sin and shame with His unconditional love? What are we demonstrating and displaying to those we surround on a daily basis? Are they seeing how much we cherish and advocate our worldly passions- our families, our successes, our health and wealth, our materialistic objects and business ventures, our sports teams, vacations and leisure pursuits-, or are they seeing our faith and joy in the foundation of eternity, our passion in pursuing His will, our zest to further His Kingdom, our commitment to share His goodness and love? Is our passion in Him inspiring others to contemplate the same path?
When I think about our passions, our investment in the things of this world or the things of eternity, the passage from Matthew below comes to mind.
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.”
Friends, my job is a gift from God. My talents, skills, and worldly passions are blessings and wealths that the Lord is graciously entrusting to me. Yet, if I never utilize these passions, talents, and skills to glorify and honor Him, again I have failed. I am not to bury these treasures, afraid to let them surface, but I am to share these gifts with others, to let my passion and hope in Him be seen and to prosper. To gain more. Will we go “at once and put our passion to work” or will we dig a hole in the ground and bury this wealth?
Friends, one day, when I enter into eternity, I do hope that if the Greeks asked, “Did she have passion?”, they would say, “She was a woman passionate for Jesus.” More so than that, I hope that I put my eternal passions to work, share the kindness of Jesus, further His Kingdom, and that, I one day hear, “Well done good and faithful servant; come and share your Master’s happiness.” For that, that is a compelling enthusiasm worth sharing.