“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.” I recently heard this E.M. Forster quote while listening to a eulogy. I am sure we can all think of people whom we consider passionate.
I wonder though, what makes me see someone as passionate? How do I recognize passion? Do I seek to support and encourage it? Am I intimidated by passion? Do I only encourage that which falls within my understanding or my way of doing things? How do I try to see the root of my, or another’s, passion? Or, do I just make assumptions about desires, whether they are mine or someone else’s?
Over the years, I have come to believe more strongly that God places desires within us and when we are attentive, looking more closely at our desires, God helps us to sift through them. God helps us to focus on our desires that are best, helping us “to stir into flame the gift of God…” (2Timothy 1:6). In this process, as one continues to pray with a desire, passion is often born and a path begins to unfold.
The more consistent the prayer…sharing with God one’s thoughts and feelings…the waiting and listening, the stronger the passion, trust and patience grows. Anyone can care about something, but unless one cares enough to not only do something, but to do something that is born of prayer and fueled with a passion shaped by God, little changes in a way that is truly beneficial.
“The thought of God’s presence will put us in the habit of doing God’s will.”
– St. Vincent DePaul
Why is that important? Simply put, God’s will and way is the only One that truly benefits all. Try as we may, or give up as we may, in terms of desire and passion, there are always things that are beyond my control, but not beyond God’s. God’s will sees possibility and solutions when all we may see is roadblocks and impossibility.
“If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.” – Psalm 95
In order to hear God’s voice, I must stop using mine, at least temporarily. I must take time regularly for solitude and prayer if I want to have a sense of God’s will for me. How can God reveal the way to me without having my attention? I must listen with open ears…open mind and heart.
There are times when we all get off track or take what we believe God wants for us and run with it. Times when we are off to the races only to have things unravel down the road. Sometimes we can get impatient when things are not happening fast enough, or in a way that we can see, and we leave God behind. We can be tempted into interactions with God that are more like a baton being handed off to us along the race, rather than like a tandem. We can forget that we (oneself and God) are in it together, and for the duration.
“For the vision is a witness for the appointed time,
a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint.
If it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.” – Habakkuk 2:3
I need to remind myself “The word of the Lord remains forever…” (1Peter 1:25). It helps me to grow in faith. A faith that is not stagnant, but that challenges me to be all that God created me to be. I need to listen and allow myself to be directed.