“Passion” has become one of the buzz words of our time.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m passionate. I love passion. I couldn’t live a day-to-day life that is endlessly mundane where I merely go through the motions. I warm up inside when someone says to me, “Guy, you clearly have a passion for God and what He has called you to.”
But passion without God-calling can not only be misguided, it can be dangerous. God’s calling to us is the super highway upon which passion is best driven. Remove calling and passion runs amok.
In 1974 my brother and I were driving in Paris. We drove to see the Arc de Triomphe and found ourselves in a multi-lane roundabout circling the Arc, with cars careening every which way, ungoverned by any lane stripes. I’m not a timid driver, but I was nearly overcome with anxiety and then fear as I attempted, without success, to navigate a path for myself through that high-speed bumper car rink. I don’t know how many times we whirled around that iconic landmark, or how long it took (it seemed like an eternity), but seven years later my wife and I traveled through Paris on the subway. No way was I going to get behind the wheel again. What a vivid metaphor of passion without calling. Yet when we do hear people broach the topic of “calling,” in our increasingly secular-materialistic culture, seldom is the question posed, “can there be calling without a Caller?” “I’m called to be an artist,” or a lawyer, or a politician. By whom? By chance? By evolution? Where is the purpose in that?
I do believe people who never surrender to Christ can in fact discover, to varying degrees, what they have been most gifted by God to be and do. Who would argue that a Nureyev or Picasso or Mozart or Dickens found their place in what they were gifted to be?
But just imagine what would have been if such bright lights of art had actually discovered the ultimate calling – to live for Christ, to glorify Him, and to be conformed to His image – and then lived out their unique calling with a passion to fulfill the ultimate one?
The same is true for each and all of us. If we respond to the ultimate calling, then discover our unique calling, passion will be both a consequence of our calling and fuel to pursue it with all our might.
To be passionate for God and then for His unique calling, now that’s life worth living.
Would you like to unpack this with me? Then I look forward to corresponding with you.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.