Skip to main content

Fan the Flames

What is the difference between passion and obligation? We can do a whole lot of stuff out of duty or obligation that we exhibit very little passion toward, right? I do the laundry and clean the toilets, but trust me on this one...there is very little 'passion' behind either of those obligations! When you have an obligation to do something, it is kind of tedious and you know it is because you are the one being held responsible to get it done. A job can be done out of obligation, done well, but lack any sense of really bringing fulfillment into our lives. I have a carpet shampooer and when the carpets get a little soiled looking, I schlep it out, move the furniture, and spend the next couple of hours filling the reservoir with clean water and cleaning solution, emptying the dirty water receptacle, and then cleaning everything up afterward. There is very little passion behind the cleaning frenzy, but the results are still good. I have clean carpets, pile freshly plumped, and the house smells remarkably fresh. The job got done, the results were good, but trust me - - - there was very little passion behind all that pushing, pulling, scrubbing, and schlepping!

In all the work you are given, do the best you can. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly master. Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, who will give you what he promised his people. Yes, you are serving Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)

Passion is exhibited a little differently because there is not this sense of 'have to' behind it. You actually 'want to' do something, not out of obligation or a deep-seated need to keep the rules, but because there is a fire ignited in you when you do. Maybe that is the real difference between the two - the fire that burns within. Passion isn't based on how we feel or don't feel toward the thing we are doing. We find there is a drive within that actually rises above our feelings and we just do whatever it is because we 'get to' do it. Ask me on just about any day of the week if I want to go fishing and you will see the difference between obligation and passion! That pole comes out of the cabinet, the tackle is ready in a jiff, and my hat is in hand! I find fishing very relaxing and it brings a sense of 'communion' in my life - maybe because I get to commune with my Maker while I enjoy some pretty amazingly beautiful places.

One thing I'd like to leave us with today as we consider whether we are doing things out of obligation or because there some sense of passionate purpose behind those actions is the thought of dwindling returns. You know how you lose a little bit of passion for something over the course of time? Well, it is because you haven't spent much time kindling that passion! If we want solid marriages, we have to rekindle the passion from time to time or it gets old and stale. If we want growing and vibrant relationships with each other in the family of God, we need to kindle those things that bind us together and squash the things that tear us apart. If we want to grow our passion and reduce our sense of 'obligation' toward something God is asking of us, we first need to 'stoke' or 'fan the flames' of that passion. A little spark of passion can ignite a whole forest fire of passion when the flame is fanned a little! It doesn't take much to rekindle passion, but it must be continually renewed or it will soon begin to show 'dwindling returns'! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean