How Do You REALLY Follow Your Passion?
Weekly mantra that never becomes reality…
“I’m going to give myself enough time and space to tell the stories that I have lived.”
They are stories about the crazy inside, about love and family, and laughs on the kitchen counter (usually after we’ve cried first). They are stories about people I couldn’t imagine I would get to meet. They are stories of challenges I couldn’t imagine that we or others would face. They are stories of redefining what we thought ministry was and stories of rebuilding what we think it could be. They are stories of heartache and also the exact opposite—the kind of joy that cracks your bitter shell to pieces. They are stories of a Love so generous nothing in the universe could outgive it.
I want to tell the stories, every single moment—but wanting to tell them ALL often keeps me from telling just one.
So my personal challenge is to write just one story. Or reflect on one thing at a time. This is my thing for today.
I was on a dirt road leading to somewhere. I literally didn’t know where I was. I knew where we were trying to go (a village in Sri Lanka), but I had never been there before. I didn’t know which fork in the road was intended for us. There was a guide waiting for us after an eight-hour journey by van. But we couldn’t continue, because there were challenges—the evening was wild. Wild with elephants and fear and a people plagued with memories of terror in the night. Could this dead end and wild shift in plans be what it means to follow my passion? I stood thinking of the photos that wouldn’t get to be taken. But that’s when the passion conversation erupted in my heart. Was my passion and purpose in life to get in the field and capture a photo to send back to my Instagram account? I knew it wasn’t. That was never and never will be God’s intention for me. God was asking me to trust in the unraveling story. Because what was really happening was a return to basecamp, a backwards hike, a reset…so we could experience a level of connection that we may not have been prepared for otherwise.
Is this how God shows us how to live? By taking our breath away and upsetting the equilibrium just long enough for us to say—hey—there’s nothing else I can do but trust in you. Is this how it’s supposed to be—the seeming lack of forward motion giving us the strength we need to move further forward than anything we had planned?
I learned in the red dirt of a distant land that following our passions isn’t so much about us as it is about the story we get to be a part of when we give up some of the story we hoped we would live.
Passion is just as much about surrender and loss as it is about a positive life pursuit. Passion is the glue that keeps us on the journey. It’s both vivid mission and heartbreaking agony. It’s both. It really is both.
Following our passions looks a lot less like going after what gratifies us and more like going after the thing that takes our breath away.
It’s a journey of surrender and often surprises us with a story we couldn’t have imagined on our own—not without a guide to take us to the fork in the road that was much more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. It may have been the longer hard route, but it refined us in a way that nothing else could.
Our passions tend to line up with the “go” that causes our knees to shake, the kind that lend to worries because there are more “what if’s” than we have answers and more “how do we do this” questions than we have “we know how to do this” statements.