On the Pursuit of Passion

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to my lifetime friend and cheerleader, Courtney Garza. After you read her words, you’ll want to steal her from me. A word of caution: I am scrappier than I might appear at first glance. Do not attempt to mess with the bestie. Now, Courtney currently hails from Birmingham, working at the University of Alabama. She can kick your tail at Scrabble and put anything together regardless of whether or not she has the instructions. She’s a faithful friend, gifted writer and lover of Jesus. Enjoy!

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I think that honesty is important. And if I’m being honest, I would say that complacency is my default.  It’s great to be content, but every now and then, I have to make a conscious effort to dream again, to remember (or discover something new!) what it is I’m passionate about.  And I also have to remind myself of these five things:

  1. Passion is not a personality trait. I spent many years looking at passionate people, convinced that they got where they were because of their outgoing personality.  I also spent too much time comparing myself to others.  We know we all do it, but we need to stop.  You are passionate about something.  Find it, and then do something about it, because…
  2. Passion requires pursuit. Webster’s definition for the word pursue is: to follow or try to catch or capture (something or someone) for usually a long distance or time.  Passionate pursuit is intentional and requires an investment of time, even if the investments are small.  In this message, Andy Stanley reminds us that small investments of time add up to something.  I know…duh!  But how often, when I don’t have time to accomplish something “productive”, do I opt to watch television or play on Facebook to pass the time.  What if, instead, we started using that time to pursue something we’re passionate about?  Want to start now?  Author Jon Acuff is encouraging thousands of people to DoSummer and even gives you a convenient chart to track your progress 15 minutes at a time.
  3. Pursuing passion does not guarantee the absence of pain. Just ask Jesus. Or Paul.  He was passionate about spreading the gospel and was beaten and imprisoned on numerous occasions because of it.  Over the weekend, I watched The Drop Box movie.  If you haven’t seen it, you should.  It so clearly demonstrates this point.
  4. Your passion can influence others. It might encourage them to pursue their own passion, or it may convince them to join you. I attend a mega church, but even as much as it’s grown in the short time I’ve been there, one of the things I love most about it has nothing to do with how many new campuses we have or will open. My pastor has a vision and invests a significant amount of time and resources into helping other churches grow.  We also have an organization to plant churches.  Your passion can change the world.  But how much better would it be to leave a legacy, to replicate yourself?
  5. Passionate pursuit is not about perfection. I believe this goes back to fear, that if we can’t do it perfectly, it’s not worth doing at all.  My niece is in middle school.  A few weeks ago, I was asking her if she might be interested in joining the band or playing sports.  She told me that she didn’t think she would because she didn’t know how, and also mentioned that she didn’t think she would be good enough.  If I could have shaken those perfectionist tendencies out of her right then, I would have.  Instead, I encouraged her to pick something she might be interested in and TRY.  If you love singing, you might not ever make it on stage, but don’t let that stop you from worshiping God from your seat on a Sunday morning just because the person next to you might hear you.  Maybe your dancing skills shouldn’t really be seen in public, but if it’s something you love, you can still have a dance party with your kids at home!

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  -Nelson Mandela

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