Sunday morning I flipped on the radio to a local Christian station. Normally when I hear a preacher, I'll listen for a few seconds and flip the dial again. But that morning I listened. What he said wasn't anything I hadn't heard before, but it's worth hearing again. He reminded listeners that we are passionate about what we talk about most. We, especially as Christians, can claim to put our passion into missions, the poor, the lost, etc., but if our conversations are overwhelmed with topics other (sports, work, kids, food, recreation, etc.), than we have deceived ourselves about our true passion. What we talk about most, what we research, what we read, what we discuss, what we put money into--that's where our fire lies.
Driving to church, I asked God to show me where my real passion is. As a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers and a part-time online English adjunct, I don't verbally converse too much during the day, but when I do talk to people (usually my mom and my husband), what do we talk about? Do I talk about my kids? Yes, a lot. Mostly in frustrated tones of confusion, but I am passionate about raising them to be godly men and women. So, that's not bad, is it?
What else? Books. Yeah, I like to talk about books, but that's not bad, is it? After all, books can be extremely educational, edifying and even godly diversions. Hmmm...
And God reminded me. You should have one passion. Me. My Son. Our Story. All else is merely spokes from the wheel. Even good things can crowd out the best thing. Think about some godly people you know. How often do they mention their Lover? Does Jesus come up? Or do they talk more about theology (good to know, yes) or Beth Moore (adore that lady too) or their church (yes, we should honor the bride), but all in all footnotes to our Savior.
At church our associate pastor shared about the mission team's time in Haiti and how we often fail to reach out to the needs of the "outer most parts" because we are so overwhelmed by the needs we see here. Or, we are uncomfortable. Or... we don't know them. Or... it's too much for us to understand. We put up several excuses, but he said, our passion for reaching outside our own community should stem from our understand of a basic premise: we are all in need. And like many of them felt upon returning home, we Americans are the ones who are needy. Despite--or probably because of--our material security, we our spiritually bankrupt. We fail to see our need of God because we so often see our needs being filled. We don't learn dependence. We don't learn humility. We don't learn eternal perspective because we are suffocating in our stuff. And yet if a family makes $34,000 a year, they are in the top 1% of the world's wealth.
Our true passion has been replaced for a lesser god and it's robbing us of true joy, peace, relationship, and purpose.
Josh encouraged our church to ask God what he wants of us. To ask Him what we are holding onto that we need to let go and to seek what He loves, seek what He is passionate about.
I don't want my life to be practical and comfortable (yes, that was extremely hard to type and I'm still not sure I fully feel it). But I do want my life to reflect the passion of Christ, not the passion of self or even good things that should come second. I don't know exactly what that is supposed to look like, and I know much of our living is on the small scale of daily obedience, but I don't want to be afraid of the big prompts either.
So, ask yourself this week: where does my fire burn? And should I move it?