Life is action and passion; therefore it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of the time, at peril of being judged not to have lived.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
I got to watch the movie, “This Is It.” Not the greatest movie I have ever seen…but I was moved. Not by the man…his awkward interactions or speeches…but by his passion. He danced in practice because he could do nothing else. He sang from his heart because he could not handle less. It was as if he could not contain himself…even when he wanted to. His passion was to dance, sing…and perform.
I’m often made the butt of jokes for my dancing when I lead…but I can’t help it. My feet just want to move and I can’t make em stop. Once I put on my white kicks and step into leading worship…my passion for it cannot be contained. My excitement for the moment cannot be controlled.
I used to stand still…contain my feet and emotions while leading until one night in the Staples Center. I watched Dave Matthews play his heart out and his feet followed. I know…it’s awkward for a white boy…but we have to. Dave’s passion for the audience and his music could not be restricted…and the results were a twisted face and shuffling feet. If Michael and Dave can’t help it…neither can I.
I am not using either one of these men as examples of healthy individuals…I am simply offering my opinions of what makes them move. What causes them to create and devote their life to a few moments on stage.
Passion is awkward, uncontainable, and the only piece that keeps moving me forward. It’s what wakes me up from the bed in the morning and causes me to act. One French novelist wrote, “Passion is universal humanity. Without it…religion, history, romance and art would be useless.”
Times where I am not following my passion are times in my life of confusion. I have a restless spirit and seem to complain more often than not. I retreat to areas where I am not bothered…stay away from hard conversations…and essentially shut down the one thing that makes me unique…my passion.
D.H. Lawrence talked about passion saying, “Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” When your passions are unleashed…you cannot stop your feet from moving…your mouth from singing…or your heart from believing.
Be careful though…to let your passion alienate people and turn them off to the message God has sent you with. Vincent Van Gogh is defined as one of the premier painters who ever lived and his passion for art is evident in his brush strokes. Yet, while he lived…his paintings were worth very little. He had very few friends and his life ended in a tragic mess of sorrow and grief. He is now revered for his gifts…but when he was alive, he was a disturbed soul.
Learn to unleash your passion and live within it. Allow God to mold it…define it…and multiply it beyond your wildest imagination because in ministry…living outside of your passion leads to complacency. Passion cures the stirred soul and unleashes it to care for God’s people.
I pray that your passion is unleashed today. I pray that it is not seen as tragic, or revered after you have lived. I pray your passion is spread across the generations and causes your soul to stir for His calling in your life. In the words of Ice T, “Passion makes the world go round. Love just makes it a safer place.”