Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rekindling the Flame

One of my facebook friends, Jan Nell, posted this quote today: A position that exceeds passion often settles with appeasement~B. Moore. I’m not sure who B. Moore is but I found myself captured by the statement.

Settling is always a dangerous approach to life. Settling sounds like we’ve given up hope of anything better. That no matter how much longer the road, we’ve come to a dead end.

Settling for appeasement means we have chosen compliance over pursuit. Just getting along, putting in my time, staying out of trouble, taking the easy route, none of which moves us any closer to the goal of a passion-filled life.

But to have a position without passion is like having a fireplace with no wood. It looks good, but with no heat coming out, what purpose does it serve? We have one of those in the front living room, far removed from where we hang out. Supposedly it’s good for resale but completely useless to our lifestyle.

Passion is a love-based word. It’s the fire in our belly which makes us care so deeply that we give our lives away. Whether in a marriage or a job, and whether that job is inside or outside the home, we do it because something drives us from within.

When we’ve lost the drive, we begin to settle into a routine that occupies our time but robs us of our imagination. We punch the clock, do our work, and look forward to something else. And we’ll pretty much stay there until we restore the ultimate reason we do what we do.

See, passion is not an emotion but an undercurrent of motivation. It’s the why. Look at your job. Why do you do it? Is it: interest, training, skills, money, convenience, what was expected of you? All legitimate reasons but none imply passion.

Passion connects us with calling. Calling draws us to look at the bigger picture. When calling meets passion I have confirmation I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. If the passion to do what I do has gone away I need to start asking why. Not why it went away but why was I drawn to this in the first place. If the reason is appropriate, the why will reconnect me with the passion.

Remembering why we got married, why we relocated, why we had children, why we bought the house, why we chose that profession, why we joined that church, why we made that decision, why we committed ourselves to God, will keep us on track.

When Jesus told the Ephesians to return to their first love, He had obviously noticed that though they were busy, they had lost the reason for their busyness. They had settled for routine over adventure, maintenance over growth, comfort over service and, unfortunately, meaninglessness over life. To restore that life, they would have to remember why they started doing it in the first place. That why would reignite the flames of passion.

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