Is there something you really want to do, a dream inside your heart that you yearn to live out? These things are your passions. So what are you passionate about? What do you love to do? It can be almost anything: sports, dance, reading, painting, you name it! The list can go on and on.
Whatever your passion may be, remember that it is important, even if it doesn’t seem super “spiritual.” Don’t tell yourself it isn’t as important as the passion of others, or that it is weird and isn’t good for anything. This is simply not true. The passions inside of you were placed there by God for a very specific reason: He wants you to use them. They are for God’s glory and your enjoyment. So don’t disregard them.
Consider Martin Luther King, Jr., who was passionate about seeing equality reign instead of racial discrimination. He famously “had a dream,” and he pursued it, fighting for it even when it led him down a dangerous and sometimes lonely path. Our world is different because he pursued his dream until the end.
Fueling Your Passions
What are you going to do with your passions? Are you going to ignore them, or are you going to use them and see how God uses them?
If you want your passions to grow, invest them! This takes time and energy. Think of a fire. When you add more wood, the flames grow. The more fuel you add, the greater the size your fire will be. The same applies with your passions. Adding fuel (time and energy, prayer, training, etc.) to your passions triggers them to grow stronger and more effective.
Fueling your passion can change it from an interest to a life’s calling.
Maybe you enjoy playing basketball with your friends. Is it possible that this is a passion God has given you, not just a pastime you enjoy? Whether you wind up playing on a professional team, or coaching high school students, or traveling the world sharing Jesus through sports, you’ll definitely have to invest time and energy. Fueling your passion can change it from an interest to a life’s calling. The possibilities are endless!
What passions are hidden in your closet?
There once was a man who was passionate about roses. He raved about them, always expressing his desire to have a beautiful rose garden. One day someone gave him a rose bulb. He rejoiced in this gift, and because it was so precious to him, he carefully stored it away in a high shelf in his closet. Over the years he would visit the closet and pick up the rose bulb, dreaming of one day having beautiful rose bushes. Then he would put it back and continue with his day. As time passed, his visits became less and less frequent, until he forgot about his precious gift. And his dream of a rose garden never happened.
Dreams are never fulfilled on the closet shelf. All they do there is collect dust. If you want to see your dreams come true, you have to chase them. That involves sacrifice, risk, and hard work, but throughout it all you will receive the joy that comes from knowing Jesus as you pursue the passions he has placed on your heart.
Beverly, a student in our current Discipleship Training School, has a passion for acting. Being in a drama is one of her favorite things to do. She describes pursuing her passions like this: “I really feel like I come alive. I get to see a piece of who God created me to be.” As she acts, she finds incredible joy. “I can just feel God smiling, like he is happy. And that makes me want to do it more!”
“I get to see a piece of who God created me to be.”
There is a God-given joy in pursuing what you are passionate about. That joy only adds fuel to your desire, spurring you on as you chase the dream God has given you.
No More “What Ifs”
If you’re like most people, there can be hindrances to pursuing your passions. Here are a few of those obstacles:
- Concern about the opinions of others
- Fear of being ridiculed for your passion
- Fear of failing as you follow your dream
Don’t let fear hold you back! Being paralyzed by fear will only lead to a life filled with regret.
Imagine if that man hadn’t ignored his passion and had planted that rose bulb. There would be no wistful dreaming or “what ifs.” With the hard work of cultivating the ground and weeding out any obstacle, the rose would have grown and bloomed and multiplied. And the man would have found the fulfillment he sought by being the gardener he was designed to be.
Yes, there’s risk involved in pursuing your passions. But there’s never regret from following God’s leading, even when it involves a risk. Regret comes from those times we don’t take that risk. Don’t ignore your passions out of fear and then look back on your life with regret.
Stop living in black and white!
Have you ever met a passionless person? Their lives are devoid of color, and they live in perpetual black and white. Their lives lack meaning, and they think they have no purpose.
Passionless people live in perpetual black and white.
They’re wrong, though: God did not create a single person without a purpose. Maybe we feel purposeless because we’ve forsaken God’s passions to pursue what the world tells us to pursue. But the good news is, we don’t have to end up that way. Since God created us, he knows what he created us for. Surrendering to his ways allows us to discover the passions he desires for us, and as we discover them and invest in them we can live colorfully, lives of passion and purpose.