Those things that you are passionate about—reading, knitting, social media, music, horses, clothes, design—are these self-centered materialistic desires, or the whispers of God telling you how He wants you to pour out your life for Him?
If you’re like me, questions about the future plague you on an almost daily basis. My major dilemma over the past few years has been, “What will I do with my life? How does God want me to serve Him?”
Here comes the tension. It sounds “good” to be a missionary, but I've never felt a strong call to missions. It sounds “good” to be a doctor, but sickness and surgery doesn't appeal. It sounds “good” to be a social worker, diplomat, caretaker, foster mother, to take pleasure in going on youth missions or studying politics in order to make a positive difference in our world—but I don’t have a passion for any of those things.
|LONDON :: telephone box, a photo by Crystian Cruz on Flickr.|
What I do love is Great Britain. In fact, you might say that I’m obsessed with it. England in particular has always called to me. I love practically anything concerned with the country: food, literature, people, history, architecture—it all enraptures me and makes my heart sing.
But it doesn't sound very holy. I have made plans to go on a lengthy (and expensive) trip to England next year, but I've wondered if that money would be better spent in an African orphanage, or urban outreach. It’s hard to think that something like my love for Britain could actually honor God.
“Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” - Psalm 37:4
Something that I have learned from scripture, though, as well as from some fabulous mentors like Dan Miller and Donald Miller, is that God gave us passions. If you’re wanting God to speak to you, to say what He wants you to do with your life, how do you expect to hear Him? Are you listening for a voice? Looking for a message? Praying for a sign? Maybe He’s been speaking to you all your life and you've never even noticed.
He can speak to us through our passions.
God is not asking us to throw aside the things we love—He is the one who shaped our hearts in the first place! He is calling you and me to surrender our passions to His will, and then He can work through them to create something amazingly meaningful that we can find joy in. Have you heard of the two words that kill passion? Here they are: “ought to.” When choosing a ministry, career, or hobby, please don't do it out of a sense of sacrifice or obligation. Do it because it's fun. If you’re operating out of guilt, you’ll never be as effective as when your actions come from a spirit of love and genuine passion. Live your life story the way God wired you.
How will God use my passion? I really don’t know. I've been writing a blog on Great Britain for several years, I've befriended a few Brits, and I plan to attend an English Bible college next spring. Perhaps something will come up while I’m there, I really don’t know. Until then, I’ll just submit my passion to God and watch what He does with it.
Do you feel like you have a selfish or useless passion? What are some ways God could use that for His glory?