passion: screwing around with a relational barometer?
“Where’s your passion?” “I’ve lost my passion?” “I can’t find my passion?” “Has anyone seen my passion?”
I think passion is a tad over-rated. Maybe we are passion-crazed like we are sex-crazed.
Why does the artist create? Why does the parent parent? Why does the teacher teach? Why does the pastor pastor? Why does the singer sing?
Sure, passion may invigorate these ways of life from time-to-time. But passion is not enough to sustain an artist who paints day in, and day out. For the serious artist, deadlines, obligations, and the need to pay the rent are every bit as important as passion. Passion is often fickle and fleeting.
To base a faith community or ongoing ministry on passion is to set it up for failure; for often the first wind of difficulty empties the “passion sail.” In such cases our allegiance to our callings maybe equivalent to an adolescent falling in love/falling out of love.
Passion maybe to ministry, what great sex is to marriage; it’s wonderful, it’s vital – it may even be a relational barometer (a useful tool for gauging atmospheric pressure) – but the marriage had better be more than great sex.
I am not arguing for passionless ministry, on the contrary. I’d like to see passion within a committed relationship. It seems that some of our emerging church influencers ”sleep around”. Maybe young influencers would be wise to save their passions for a “ministry-marriage” of sorts.
A little passion-chastity may move us in the direction of ministries which break the national divorce rates.
Passion is not neutral; it is both glorious and destructive at the same time. Wisdom encourages passion within relational commitment and exercised with discretion, and time/space/relationship sensitivity.