Over the holiday break, I finally went to see the much buzzed about sci-fi flick, Avatar. The protagonist in the movie, Jake, led an ordinary life as a soldier. Then, Jake lost his legs in battle and gained the chance of a lifetime to dive into a new body and start fresh on an unchartered planet.
It sure was sheer fun, escaping for those two and half hours to a new world of adventures on the silver screen.
It’s no surprise the film’s a blockbuster hit. The storyline’s lifted straight out of the pages of our personal journals. Somewhere along our earthly travels, we’ve all lost the use of our legs, on the battlefields of life.
These are the legs to our passions.
As I sat there slurping my blueberry Icee, fishing out the last edible kernels of popcorn, I wondered, at what point did passion arrive at a pause in my life?
For a number of reasons, there was a season I decided to hold passion at bay.
I’m not talking about any particular passion, but more like everything in general that drives us to want, crave, and desire.
The Bible uses a very interesting word for passion — “Ta’avah“. It showers us with a host of beautiful, invigorating and life-pumping words:
desire, wish, longings of one’s heart
Startlingly enough, included in Ta-avah is also:
lust, appetite, covetousness
Ah, yes. The intensity of passion comes with a denouement of lack, frustration, and addiction — if it goes past the threshold of faith.
Passion’s Threshold of Faith
There is a threshold for passion that once passed, moves us past faith — and into our own efforts to fulfill our desires, wishes, and longings.
For some, there is passion in family, people, nature, dreams, hobbies, or ideals. For others, the intensity surrounds other things. Within every pursuit, we can want something so badly that it propels us beyond peace, joy, and freedom.
I have always had a passion for people, God’s Word and writing. I am always doing the dance, a hypervigilance of keeping those passions within the threshold of faith.
Sometimes, I want to abandon them altogether and just not want. Not desire. In doing so, I can neither fall down and come up short. I can never go past the threshold of faith.
But, a life without passion is less than it was meant to be.
How do I straddle the fine line of passion?
I make sure all passions are subservient to life’s TRUE passion: God at work in me.
God at Work Trumps All Other Lowly Passions
There is a very important verse in my life that acts as the Trump Card. It controls all other passions at play.
All other passions must die, bow, or dissipate under this One Passion. It is the passion to allow God to do His Work in my life.
I’ve done a word study on some key words in this important verse — and I share it with you — inserting my reflections from the Hebrew root words.
When I find myself focusing on what I can do to fulfill my cravings for satisfaction outside of this, the Greater Passion will trigger me to abandon ship and pull back. No matter what the cost.
I constantly ask God for the grace to pull the plug.
And so, the plug gets pulled regularly, at times when I would rather not. Like a power outage that occurs whenever there is an overload of competing requirements, I am thankful the Holy Spirit makes sure everything else fails, so that I can return to my one and only passion.
What are your passions?
What is your experience of how God keeps them within the threshold of faith?