Finding Your Passion

I enjoy animated movies and a recent 3D film that intrigued me is The Emoji Movie.  Go back a decade and emoji would not ring a bell in most people’s minds, but the widespread adoption of text and picture messaging led Oxford Dictionaries to make “emoji” the 2015 Word of the Year!

What really caught my attention from the plot of the movie was the main character – Gene, a “meh” emoji. That’s right, “meh.”  The expression that says, “I’m not impressed,” “It’s so-so,” or “NBD (no big deal).”  For all that YouTube has contributed to culture and society, making us all experts in self-diagnosis and DIY projects, it has also created an audience that is incredibly difficult to “wow!”

With endless highlight videos of self-promoting stars so readily accessible, one can couch surf the virtual world to a point of desensitization, where nothing observed in real life is stimulating enough for any of our senses.  The intellectual complacency, compounded with emotional lethargy, begin to sap our passion to the point where our outlook on life is best expressed by Gene … everything becomes meh.

Jesus instructed us to counter that passive mindset when he said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.” (Mark 12:29-30, Message) Whenever we forget why God put us on earth, we begin to drift towards apathy and lethargy.  Pastor Dave explained in a recent message that the root meaning of apathy is “freedom from suffering,” but he reminded us that all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful but painful (Hebrews 12:11).Apathy was a hallmark trait of Gen Xers that I most associated myself with. In my teenage years, I falsely embraced the nonchalant and laissez-faire attitude as the new Canadian culture that I was exposed to.  I took pride in never getting too excited about anything because that was not “cool.” When I came to faith in Christ early in university, that same spiritual lethargy stuck and needed to be removed from my life. 

I recall being frustrated because I could not honestly say what I was passionate about.  I had a good friend in high school who loved hip-hop culture, and it was clear to everyone that he was passionate about hip-hop because he talked about it, lived it, and shared it!  In fact, he was responsible for the repertoire of breakdancing moves that I still possess.

I began to pray to God for passion. I wanted my life to demonstrate evidence of the things that I should be excited about. And then it all changed when I prayed and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit a few months after coming to faith in Jesus. I did not transform into a fanatic by any means, but there was a release of joy and zeal for the things of God.  That eventually led to a life of ministry that I am still passionate about until this day.

Romans 12:11 tells us, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keepyour spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” You can keep praying for it, but another way to find your passion is simply to serve. Start finding ways to serve others, in the church and in the community, and you may be surprised how your God-given gifts in ministering to others can stir up your spiritual fervor and zeal.

Like anything in life, your walk with God becomes boring, monotonous, routine and dull, without passion. I know that the CLOSER you get to God, you will discover MORE of the passion that will energize your spiritual life as it did mine!