I was agitated. This—the zenith of leisure—is me time, the only hour of the week when the King Potato gets to ascend his throne and indulge in sofa. Deep thoughts are not allowed to percolate on the sofa on Sunday afternoons, only meaningless mind-wandering indulgence! It bothered me that I couldn’t escape the thought, so the King Potato surrendered.What do I think about all day long? The answer, I began to realize, is a matter of passion. And there are two things on earth I’m passionate about most: my family and the local church. These occupy my thoughts all day, every day. I’m so passionate about them that even during me time they’re still there. And I firmly believe that’s no accident.
Passion is one of mankind’s most powerful driving forces. It’s consuming. It’s tinged with discontent, restlessness and determination that propel one to action. And these are not necessarily unholy things (though they can be); within the context of pursuing godly purpose, consuming dissatisfaction can be the point at which you make the beautifully reckless decision to abandon yourself in pursuit of fulfilling your divine calling. But passion also has its effect on other causes. You don’t have to go far before bumping into some.
God created all things for His purpose—”All things have been created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16, TNIV)—and that includes the passion He hard-wired within the heart of every person. But what is passion, specifically? Passion is a God-given internal guidance system that represents the center of your motivation, desires and inclinations, which, once activated in service, will reap great satisfaction and fulfillment.
In other words, passion is a tool God has given you to help you achieve your purpose. It’s the coal in your internal locomotive engine. It’s what causes you to dream. It inspires you. It takes hostage your thoughts during me time. It invades your emotions and challenges you when you don’t give it enough attention.
The point is that what you are passionate about is exactly the thing you have the greatest potential of becoming. If you think about it all day long, that’s what you are. This was the message of the mysterious proverb in the newspaper … and I tend to agree.
God intended passion to be all-consuming. Paul wrote, “[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight” (Philippians 2:13, AMP). God intended all-consuming passion to be for His good pleasure and delight. Passion is and must remain God-centered and God-focused.
So what are you thinking about all day? Where is your passion focused?
Passion directed by God is an unstoppable force. But make no mistake, the devil conspires to arrest your passion and redirect it to futile motives. Passion that isn’t carefully understood for its motive and regularly monitored for its effect has the potential to send anyone, even the most disciplined person, careening off course. This detour is, at minimum, a distraction and, in some cases, quite devastating.
One of the greatest sins we commit against God is not reaching the potential He has placed in us. Every person has been chosen for a purpose and a measure of passion. How you direct your passion in everyday life will greatly determine whether you are successful in fulfilling your purpose. Like a sharp knife in your kitchen drawer, passion can be extremely helpful or extremely harmful. It must be carefully directed and used for its intended purpose. Make it your aim today to calibrate your passions with your purpose. In doing so, you will see God do great things with your life and your future.
It all comes down to passion directed. It has to be harnessed. Passion—what you think about all day—must count for something of substance. So go ahead; pencil me time into your schedule—there’s nothing wrong with that. But let the evidence of who you are and where you’re going be that which you think about all day long. Let the passions of your life be calibrated with your purpose. And let that be no accident.