My own worst enemy is a strange phrase. Shouldn’t I want success for myself? Or is there a part of me that needs to die.
The Waiting Place
I previously spoke of the waiting place in my last blog. It is possible for all of us to find our way there, as we become captivated by the grind and urgent needs of life. Needs that unfortunately and inevitably speak to us louder than the whispers of our heart. This can happen to us over years, months or even short seasons. Seasons where the pressures of life, responsibilities and needs drown us in an ocean. A raging ocean of false fulfillment based on our achievements rather than our passions. When we find ourselves forced into that situation the result is that our passions become less important and we choose to make them bow to the slave master of urgent needs. In many cases, those heart whispers once vibrant and joy-filled find themselves put away to collect dust.
Meanwhile, the oppressive voices of this “achievement” based, fulfillment lifestyle take over. Many us will silence the heart altogether. We do this in order to function, but we end up crippling ourselves. This crippling affects the depths of who we are. We may find ourselves successful even somewhat happy, but if we explore the depths of our hearts we may just stumble upon the worst thing of all, A LIFE OF REGRET!
I was finishing off some classes at Liberty University when I received my first salaried job. It was simple, flexible and paid a lot more than I ever thought possible. Though the thought of that salary being excessive was quickly diminished, which, looking back is quite comical contrasted on what I make now. And yet I still possess a desire for more.
In that, I only prove human nature and our need for more. Make more, eat more, have more, go faster, jump higher, you name it I’ll rename it and make it better. Strangely enough, I believe there’s a connection here. A primary wound to the passionless life is that you are constantly in want of something to fill you. So, you try anything, anywhere until finally you lay down a defeated, depressed and unresolved creature. Anyway, I digress.
I had landed a job for Liberty Online. Basically, I spent my 8 hour days at a desk, on the phone, signing up a student for classes and listening to their complaints. There were low expectations and a great opportunity for salary raises and advancement. All you had to do was meet the quota of calls fielded, thus, lowering wait times and upping overall productivity.
Enter my passion.
My passion is to help awaken others to their passions and give them permission to engage them while overcoming the obstacles along the way. In short I’m about … LIFE CHANGE.
The problem I ran into at my job was I cared too much. Instead of being efficient I became relational and the conclusion was that I talked to people way too long. It didn’t sit well with my soul that someone would call needing direction and guidance, to only be met with, “Well we could move you to a different class. Other than that you are on you own.” In my heart, all I could hear was that there were REAL people with REAL problems in need of some REAL assistance. So I gave it. Needless to say, no advancements, no raises and with the constant nagging of my boss about my call times I grew unsatisfied.
I had to make a choice. I could either quit or kill the whispers, the fiery rumblings of my soul. In doing so, I would become more productive, make more money and management would like me, but at what cost.
So … I quit.
John Wesley was a Christian pastor and theologian born out of the tail end of the reformation. The Protestant denominational movement of Methodism was a direct product of his ministry. Shout out to all the Methodists. John Wesley was a winner of souls. He believed in his mission as a Christian to reach and save the lost as his ultimate passion. No one and nothing would get in his way.
The harsh reality is that not all “Christian” churches or religious institutions of today are created equal. While many hold to the doctrines and teachings of their youth. A good number of them are filled with needless programs and traditions that do not line up with their original mission or passion. I can imagine John Wesley visiting them today and letting them know in quite a blunt way that while their intentions are good they have lost their passion.
“You have one business on earth – to save souls.”
You see the reality is that in order to “stay on passion” we don’t have to go on a life wide spring cleaning. Throwing out everything or anything that doesn’t line up. It’s not about making everything in my life match my passion, otherwise, I’d get divorced, sell off my kid, and leave town traveling the world. But that would be ludicrous. You see I love my wife, marvel at my son and I possess a job that not only meets my needs but allows me to channel what I believe I’ve been made for. So the question is:
“Is what you’re currently doing adding to or inhibiting your passion?”
In other words, every church could and should look different based on the leader and their culture, but if they want the John Wesley (and Hunter Floyd) Passion Stamp of Approval. Saving souls has to be their priority.
You have to be willing to make changes. Again, your entire life doesn’t need to be reworked and revamped. You don’t need to have a rebirthing per say, but if there is a part of it and, odds are there is, that directly inhibits your ability to live out your passion. KILL IT.
One night recently I found myself incapable of sleep. So naturally, I turned on Netflix and began the journey to find something that would nourish my watching needs. I settled for a good Kung-Fu movie. In the twilight hours, I could be seen watching Bruce Lee annihilate foes while occasionally playing games on my phone.
Out of nowhere a dilemma began to form in my head. As I watched probably the highest regarded martial artist of all time. I instantly thought about how his life ended at the young age of 33. What movies could have been? What impact could he have made on others? Yet his life was cut short only six years my senior! Here I was having no legacy, no impact, no martial art skills and if I were to die now would it even matter. Would my life have made a difference? Then the quiet, true whisper of my heart broke through. “What are you doing? You have been created for so much more. Why are you wasting your time?”
I don’t think movies are bad nor late night escapades, but there are times when we could capture those moments for something greater. Or to propel ourselves even further.
For some of us it’s career changes. For others, it may be trivial things that simply help to augment our impact. So at that moment I answered my question,
“Is what you’re currently doing adding to or inhibiting your passion?”
The decisions I made were simple but effective.
I set a bedtime. Sleep is so important. Not only to function but to maintain habits and lifestyle.
I threw out the games. Instead, I use the time to read, pray, think, connect with my wife, or write.
For the most part, I have already made massive changes in my life in order to make my passion pursuable. I constantly investigate and seek to sacrifice the minor things to make sure I’m making the impact I was meant for. Some of you have a lot farther to go and the discovery may yield a much greater sacrifice resulting in hardship and challenge. If that scares you, makes you anxious and overwhelms you, good. This is not something to be taken lightly. Your life is short and growing shorter by the day.
My challenge to you is to place yourself in a position that allows you to use your passion. That’s the first step. Letting it free. Letting it burn for all to see. Because when that happens people WILL acknowledge and agree that you were born for it. You never know, you may even lead others to experience the same.
“Catch on fire and others will love to come watch you burn.”
What have you sacrificed to pursue your passion?