3 Categories of Passion.

General Passion.

This is the kind of passion that has a lingering sense of aggravation. Every time you encounter it on the news or in person, it really irritates you, and you wish something could be done about it. You would like to see it change, but don’t have the time or the inclination to do much about it yourself. This could be something like: teacher’s salaries, deforestation or political integrity.

Personal Passion.

Now we are getting a little closer to home because this kind of passion is more personal. I has to do with things you really love to do or be around. e.g motor-racing, lazy sun-drenched days on the beach, or building model aircraft. Although these are activities that are enjoyable, can you really see yourself being just as thrilled with it after 3 months of doing just that? How about 6 months or a year? Eventually fascination with this recreation fades and the desire to make a purposeful contribution emerges once again. Which brings us to the last version of passion.

Divine Passion.

Bill Hybels believes that hidden within each of us is a God inspired passion that is designed to bring all the energy we need to make a lasting change in a specific area. He wrote about it in a book called Holy Discontent. It is an area you are passionate about, but not like the last two passion descriptions. This one seems to activate a deep commitment that compels you to act until you see affective change. Bill calls it a Holy discontent and he describes it by using a line from Popeye asking: what is it about your passion where you can say concerning that area “I have had all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!!”? If you can answer that question, you might be closer to your true passion than you have ever been.

God has successfully wired each of us to get really tweaked about something. Tweaked enough that it brings energy and motivation to do something about it and not just once either. This kind of passion is usually for a cause or a people and is often bigger than one person might correct. It is inspired by God, so that it will be lasting and aimed at the greater good – not self preservation, hedonistic pleasure or exorbitant hoarding of personal wealth.

Working in your passion is energizing.

The other element to this divine discontent is that functioning in it is enjoyable and energizing. If you asked me to labor extensively over the preservation of trees, I might be willing to through guilt or shame that I am not doing anything about it – for a while. But eventually I will fade because doing that work doesn’t feed me, it drains me. On the other hand, if you asked me to labor extensively over the issues of personal and human Identity, I would work tirelessly and feel energized by the process because it is a true divine passion. Making a contribution in that space energizes me and I love it.

My passion is to address the Identity crisis that I believe people are suffering under. I think we have lost our Identity and have willingly substituted a real persona, for a virtual one because – out there – we think we can can better control the circumstances. So as people we have become less of who we are, in exchange for a more controllable life lived vicariously through the media and other people or experiences online. I love to rage against this usurping of our Identity and birth-right.

I know this series began as a 6 part series, but I think we still need one more to put it all together. I will write one more next time to put all the concepts into perspective and closure.

Till next time,

Two questions then:

  • As you begin to identify your passion you might find it helpful to look at the world, the news or even the movies. What makes your heart ache?
  • How would life be different if you could function in your passion frequently?