Life can grow mundane in the ho-hum of the daily obligations. The same things fill each day and suddenly years pass by and you wonder where the time has gone.
It is for this reason that in 2018 I want to cultivate passion in my life. I want to really work at putting my whole heart and soul into those things that are important to me and more than that I want to have passion for all of life.
First of all that means making some wise choices. Shauna Niequist in her book Present Over Perfect quotes Mizuta Masahide who says, “Barns burned down now I can see the moon.”
Cultivating passion in 2018 will mean a number of different things for me, but first I will need to burn down some barns. Burning barns and choosing what is important is just where it starts.
I have already begun to do that. I am choosing things to focus on that are life-giving to me, and leaving behind things that just eat time. It seems all too often when I finally fall into bed it has been with a sigh of realization that I never got to do any of what I really wanted to do. I did cleaning, laundry, cooking, responding to others, and their needs, but I set aside what I yearned to do.
Oftentimes that ends up meaning I set aside writing and being creative. These are things I love, things that are really important to me, yet they get trampled out of my life by other things.
Beyond burning barns, I need to plan to do what I love and make it a priority. I actually have to sadly admit that I have planned what I wanted to do but just never made it a priority or found the time to get it done. I am realizing that it is not so much about bad planning, rather it is more about getting distracted by time-wasting activities that pull at me. So, I went through my typical to-do-list for a day and timed it out so I would know how much time it should take to accomplish the things I need to do. As it turns out, it really shouldn’t take that much time. This made me realize how many hours I was really wasting. Wasting time by surfing the net, reading articles/blogs and getting pulled from one topic to another, and on and on. I also was getting sidetracked by other things that I saw which needed to be done. Things that were not on my list but instead things that took away from the time I should have been giving to my priorities.
So I realized that I really need to stick to a specific list of what needs to be done for that day. Also, as I go through my day, I need to be aware of anything that the Lord may call me to do. I can’t just go the way of distraction and waste time, because that only leaves me very frustrated.
Now that I realize, in reality, there is time enough for doing the things I love, my passions are being placed as a priority.
But this is not just about “my passions.” I want to cultivate more passion for life in general this year rather than just going through the motions. Thinking about this brings me back to Ann Voskamp’s idea of a “to love list” rather than a to-do list. Somehow doing things out of a heart of love brings on passion and gives new life to the activity. It fills your heart.
I need to get back to focusing on living out of love. For me this means living out love by working harder at consistently cooking healthy meals, continuing my never-ending task of decluttering, and especially, finding other special ways to show love to my husband. Most recently, showing love to my husband has been accomplished by baking stollen. His eyes light up and a big smile comes to his face when he sees fresh-baked stollen on the cutting board on the table.
I also want to become more present and available, first to the Lord, and then to my husband, but we will get to that in next week’s post.
I believe the Lord desires for us to live passionately. He told us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” in Matthew 22:37-39. He wants us to put our hearts and souls into living for Him.
This truth is also made obvious by the way the Lord rebuked the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-22. The Lord was revealing to each ancient church what pleased Him and what displeased Him. The church of Laodicea displeased Him in that they were “neither hot nor cold” but rather just “lukewarm” in their faith.
We live out the faith we hold in our hearts in our daily walks, so it seems that just going through motions in life is like being lukewarm, very little passion attached to life. The Lord wants us to live passionately for Him in touching others with His love, by walking in the Spirit, and in growing the fruit of the Spirit through His work in us as we abide.
I believe I can cultivate passion for life this year as I look to the Lord to live through me, abiding more in Him. Living half-hearted has to be giving a poor testimony about what life in Christ is like. I want to live a full life, a life-giving and love-giving life because I am abiding in Him more. I want to use my God-given gifts for His glory. In order to do this I will need to continually seek His wisdom in life for direction and guidance, because I am truly satisfied when I am walking in His will. He is my Life-giver and Love-giver in all of life.
Are you living with passion for life? Ask Him to help you live life with all of your heart and soul! We can be truly satisfied living in and for Him.