What’s Your Passion?

Posted by Larry Miller on March 28, 2013 under How | Be the First to Comment

1971 saw the creation of, in my humble but accurate opinion, the best film about auto racing that the cinema world has ever created. In it, Steve McQueen’s character, Michael Delaney, explains why men have to drive so fast and try to beat each other. He said, “When your racing, that’s life. The rest is just waiting.” The thing is, the words he spoke were not just about racing. They could apply to whatever it is that is your passion in life. Although from the brief time I spent drag racing, I can say there is an exhilaration that comes from working on a machine to coax the most speed out of it, then controlling it as your try to beat the guy in the other lane to the end of the quarter mile. Sometimes life gets in the way, as it did with me when family responsibilities put a stop to my blasts down the drag strip.

There is a lot to be learned from this, though. One thing is the establishment of priorities. There has to be a hierarchy of values in life. Some call this vertical alignment… others, simply common sense. So what kind of value hierarchy will give you the most happiness, yield the most contented life, and make you the most effective person you can be?

For the Christian, that would be a proper relationship with his Creator, followed by one’s family, then, their life’s work, followed by relaxing and recreational activities. There are various facets to each life, and, since God is a God of order and our Creator, following the plan He laid out in His instruction book for life will take us down the right path. This would seem to be moving in the opposite direction of Delaney’s single minded focus… but is it?

Once we get this general plan down, we have to figure out the specifics for each of us. Some are plain to see, others a little more tricky to get hold of. We all know, or at least have heard of, people who are successful in their careers, but have families that are falling apart. Recognizing that this is a broad generalization, but so often men, and sometimes women, work so hard to supply their families with the good life, or to achieve personal success, or certain measures of fame, that the higher priority of the people around them is neglected and the family actually suffers from this unbridled drive to succeed. But, let’s not let this argument for balance in one’s life become an excuse not to put forth effort to be good at what we do and expect appropriate compensation.

In charting our life’s course, we need to keep in mind the advice we find in Mark 8:36 where we are asked, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Or, put another way, what does it profit a man to gain the mansion on a hill, if he looses his family? We all have the same twenty four hours every day that Jesus had… and is disciples had. Yet they got the job done, and so can we.

Here is where we go back to Delaney’s remark… what is your passion? Is it a worthwhile use of your time? Is it something God placed in your spirit? Is it the reason you were placed on this earth. Is your vision a God sized vision? If it is, then the only way you will find happiness in life will be to follow it. This does not mean that everything else must be set aside. We are complete persons, not one dimensional cartoons. Focus is good, but to be able to only think on one thing is the path to burn out and to early disillusionment with our purpose. We were created as whole human beings… that means inclusion of our Creator, our families, and our humanity.

Yet each of us has been placed on earth with a purpose – sometimes several. It is only when we find this purpose and pursue it that we can be truly be successful and happy. Does this mean that spending time with our families is just waiting? Not really, because that is part our reason for existence. Doing that is important, but so is our life’s work. So is serving our creator. The rest is just… waiting!

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