Friday, February 13, 2009

Let's Explore Together: Passion Killers

Happy Valentine's Day! What a great day to be talking about heart passion, huh?

Thanks for all the comments on what passion is to you. Great response, very thought-provoking. Generally speaking, then, True Passion is:

  • Something you care deeply about
  • Your burden
  • What drives you—and what drives you nuts. Like a terrier puppy with a sock. Need a crowbar to pry it loose.
  • Something that costs you. There's wonderful Scripture that Angie Hunt quotes that goes something like this, "I will offer my God nothing that has not cost me." Real passion calls for sacrifices.
  • A compelling urge. (Such as...hmm...dark chocolate!)

I think another sign of your deepest passion is that when you actively do something work in the area of your passion, you feel God’s glory. His delight.

Years ago Francine Rivers gave my family a movie (on VCR...tell you how long ago that was). She said the main characters reminded her of my mom and dad. The movie was Babette’s Feast. I was excited 'til I saw it was a foreign flick. Danish, to be exact. Much as I love languages (my college double-major was journalism and multiple languages--I studied French, Spanish, and Russian), I'm not crazy about watching movies with subtitles. But this was from my dear friend Francine, and she said we like it. So we all sat down and watched.

Within seconds we were captured. Drawn in to the story of two daughters--both with amazing talents--each who gave up their dreams to stay at home first to serve their pastor father, and then to serve his community. Humbly. With love. Then a woman comes to town, sent by a friend of theirs to be the sister's housekeeper, which she does for 14 years. When she wins the lottery. So what does this woman do with all that money? She prepares a meal
for the sisters and their community, her offering to honor them for their lives spent for each other and God. (The movie is so much more than I can relate here, and if you haven't seen it I urge you to run, don't walk, to the nearest video store and rent it.)

But what struck me most deeply in this moving film was one line Babette spoke to the sisters: "How the angels must delight in you." That, I think, is what it's like when you're given to your God-breathed passion. When you live and act and move in concert with passion, when you nurture the seed of passion planted within you when God breathed you into existence...

...The angels delight in you.
And so does God.

Whatever your passion is, then, you need to cherish it. To help it's roots grow deep and sure, and the blossoms to stretch to the skies until they bloom in all their glory. (Can you tell we're heading into gardening season?) And that means you need to be aware of things that keep you from you passion.

Namely, Passion Killers.

What do you think kills passion? What steals your delight in what you do, in who you are. What blocks out God's whisper? What wraps itself around you and puts a barrier between you and the passions God has poured into you?

I've got two Killers that I wrestle with regularly: Grief and Fatigue. Grief was for a season. But fatigue, well, I fight with that a lot. Both drain you, hinder your ability to think and even, at times, feel.

How about you? What are the passion killers you fight with? Share them here, and in the next installment, we'll explore how to deal with those killers, and how to nurture that wonderful passion within.




susanne lakin said...

When you said fatigue, that brought something else to me. We are just too darn busy and clutter our lives with so many things, and many necessary things. But I feel is most important is refueling. and that is best achieved by solitude time with God and nature. I try to take a walk with my dog (thank God for dogs--for they nudge us at noon with those wet noses and force us out of the house!)for an hour each day. That's when I stop all the chores and computer work and pray, talk with God, take in the beauty of the trees and the fresh air or rain, let gratitude come in. We need to refill, revitalize, flush out the clutter in our hearts and minds to allow the passion of God to refill us. That may not be the catch-all solution, but it makes space for God's spirit. No matter what we do, if we don't make room for passion, it can't come in.

Cara Putman said...

Great topic, Karen. For me passion killing can come in many forms. Fatigue, definitely. But that also is more a symptom I think. Sometimes my fatigue is just doing what God calls me to. But I think often it's because I take on additional things that may not actually be His best for me. the crazy thing is the more I try to pare down to what I know He's speaking to me, the more tired I seem to get. Weird, huh.

Another is staying too long in one area. If the anointing has moved on, then I need to, as well.

And don't get me started on knowing I could do it well, so that means I should. Right? LOL.

But in my life, there's a large reality that to write and do other things I'm passionate about, it has to be at night after the wee ones are in bed. That can kill the passion because I'm just plain tired. And getting the brain cells and passion revved up can be hard.

But I have to do it. Because God has placed that passion in me. :-)

Anonymous said...

Passion killers: time and guilt.

I work full-time, have three children and a husband very busy with small businesses that we own. Most of my time is spent on the daily: cooking, laundry, homework, lather, rinse, repeat. :-)

Then, when I do decide to sit down at the computer, I feel guilty, like I should be playing with my kids or decluttering my basement or something more "important."

Passion killers stink :-)

angela said...

It's easy to let others kill your passion. And I'm afraid that sometimes we do this to those we love the most. My husband is passionate about coaching Upward basketball--a Christian sports league for children. The first time he heard about "recreation minstry" he got chills.

Dan is now on the Upward board--the only board member that doesn't go to the church where the program is put on. My husband wants to change churches so he can be more affective in this ministry to over 700 kids. I didn't want to leave our church. It's hard. But I realized this weekend that I need to support Dan's passion.

He'd do the same for me. A couple years ago he went to a seminar and came home saying, "If a couple has separate dreams, they follow those dreams and gradually grow apart. So I'm going to make your dream of writing my dream, too." I cried.

Since passion takes time and energy, it's important to support and be understanding of the passion of others. And, by the way, I'm at home on my computer on Valentine's because we spent the whole day at the gym coaching Upward basketball and cheerleading. We'll be celebrating our marriage when we have more time and energy.

Nicole said...

Passion killers? Hmm. For me they're only temporary detours, but for those moments they feel like all of the passion has been crushed. Sanguination.
Any kind of rejection. (Too bad, huh, since I write.)
Argument--doesn't matter about what.
The wait for God's timing. Patience is not my best suit, but that's how He teaches me--by making me wait.

Marci Seither said...

My biggest passion killer is frustration! Not over the object of your passion, but the endless, seemingly menial tasks that drain time, energy and emotion away from your passion. Like hearing your 8 year old tell his siblings that his pet snake is missing and having to totally go through the closet and muck out from under beds, only to find a full load of dirty socks, I feel like I should write a book titles "If you give a mom a squeege!" and often find myself singing a fimilar Fiddler on the Roof tune "Mess maker, Mess Maker..." It is not that the tasks of motherhood are not important, but I sometimes feel like a trained monkey could do a better job! By the way, we still haven't found the missing pet!

angela said...

Marci, I love your squeege idea! Keep it up Mommy.

Rebeca Seitz said...

Ooh, passion killers - Debt! Bills! The To Do list! Conniving church members! Unforgiving people! Self-condemnation! Uncertainty! Competition! I could name about a hundred, I think. Lately, though, God has been reminding me of His faithfulness and the sweet, sweet joy of relying on Him to provide what I need to get it all done. I've also been reminded (through a great Bible study - the Frazzled Female by Cindy Wood) that my worth is in Him, in simply being His daughter - not in my job, my earthly family, my church service, or anything I can do. Oh, that is so comforting! It frees me to chase His dreams and stories again!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Passion killers, hmmm...Those things that present themselves as urgent and aren't. Worrying about those things that could wind up being urgent but probably won't. And trying to keep up with it all.

Deep breath, pray, trust God. I'm learning. :-)

Rel said...

Passion Killers...mmm...well, it used to be the granny nightie with holes in it but I guess you aren't talking about that kind - LOL!

Firstly, I have seen Babette's Feast, too...also a long time ago. Really interesting movie - I think maybe only the second movie I had watched with subtitles.

So back to PKs - mine would be fatigue, allowing discouragement to fester, guilt and the other areas in my life I need to manage!

Great discussion, Karen

Courtney Walsh said...

I think one of the quickest ways to kill passion is to tell your dreams to the wrong person--someone who maybe would never understand or someone who might be jealous that you're going for it and they aren't. I think the naysayers are the quickest passion killers. This is why I rarely talk about my passion to anyone except my trusted few.

Also, lately, for me, it's physical pain. Neck/back/shoulders. How do you write when you can barely stand to sit at the computer? Argh!

Anyway, good discussion! Great topic. I can't wait to read more!

Jim Rubart said...

It isn't the burning in my quads that slows me down from getting up the mountain, it's the mosquitoes with their constant buzzing around my ears.

In other words it's the little distractions that kill my passion. Tired, busy, an e-mail you need to answer but don't have time for, a phone call that has to be made. Watching LOST. Hold it. That's not a distraction, that's a passion builder!

The other killer is lies from the enemy, "You don't really have anything to say." Or "No one is listening anyway."

Time with Jesus. Time with Jesus. Time with Jesus. Seeing his calling for me, pushing into deeper intimacy with him, clearing my vision … passion comes again.

Lynn Squire said...

Oh, I know immediately - judgmental attitudes, both my own (I wish I wasn't this way) and others. But the best way I know how to deal with those is to pray, delve into God's Word, and change the focus of my thoughts. Then do. Do something nice for someone else. Say something good about someone else. And live out I Corinthians 13.

Thank you for this post, Karen, I needed to read it today.