What gets you excited? We all have at least four or five things that we can come up with that just get us going. Mine are kids, writing, injustice, church, and music. Bring up any of those things to me and then watch me go. Put any of those together, like writing for kids, church music, injustice that involves kids, and you may as well be prepared to listen to me go on forever.
I would call these things my passions. That doesn’t mean that I have talent or anything special to say on the subject. I am passionate about music, but I’m not a musician. I’m passionate about injustice, but that doesn’t make me someone special who can change injustice everywhere. Having a passion simply means that you care really deeply about a subject.
I’ve come to realize recently that our passions are often the source of our greatest pains. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been frustrated with myself for my lack of inspiration when it comes to writing. Or when I write something that I simply don’t enjoy reading. And when I am not able to make a situation better for a child, I get really frustrated. It hurts me when I see an injustice that I can’t fix. Things happen within my passions that I can’t change, and that brings me some of the worst pain.
What should I do with this pain? I know that my passions won’t change anytime soon. Even though I’ve been hurt by my passion for writing, does that mean I stop writing? Does the fact that I can’t fix every problem a child has mean that I should stop trying to help? Does my frustration with the American church mean that I should abandon it? No. I push through the pain, I channel it into determination and perseverance.
Realizing that my passions bring me so much of my pain and frustration doesn’t really change much. I still get upset and frustrated. Knowing that my frustrations and tears come because I care helps a little. When I think about the opposite of passion, which is apathy, I think that I prefer passion. I would rather have pain that is coupled with accomplishment and frustration and joy than not care at all.
Apathy may be an easier route, but passion is much more heartbreaking and rewarding.