Tag Archives: passion

Pushing Past Glue and Gravity

Gravity stabilizes our world. Without gravity things wouldn’t stay put. In the Lego movie there is an evil president who plans to glue all the citizens in place in an effort to control the world. Like gravity, glue, the very thing that stabilizes also stops things in their tracks. Gravity says you can only jump so high, you can only throw so far. When we lack self-esteem it is like we are affected with a powerful gravity, a super sticky glue.

We think we can only go so far in life. We sit in church every Sunday hearing about so-and-so off in Africa serving in an orphanage or building houses in Mexico, and we think, ‘Good for them, but God won’t call little old me to do that.’ Then we go to work and we hear that our coworker is being promoted, bought a house, and is getting married, and we think, ‘I guess God forgot about me.’ Let me tell you, friends, God didn’t forget about you. You forgot that you were made in his image with the purpose, not only, to love Him and others but to love yourself (Matt 22:37-40). When we love God first and then love ourselves our perspective has changed and our value becomes well-placed.

Aside from recognizing our value and the fact that we are made in God’s image, an image above all others, we must also remember that God knitted us in our mother’s womb for a specific purpose. While we all have the broader purpose to love God, love ourselves, and love our neighbor, we also have a specific purpose for which God uniquely designed us. Our lives did not come with an owner’s manual telling us our specific purpose. That is why we must see the sky as the limit. If God created a man that could walk on the moon, invent electricity, or part the Red Sea then why would he stop at you or me?

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Hmmm… So not only does God promise to prosper you and not harm you, but he promises that during trials and periods of doubt you will have hope and a future.

Often I get comfortable where I’m at. I think, ‘God can use me wherever I’m at. I don’t want to go chasing after money or the world’s definition of success.’ But I forget that pressing on is not just about enduring where I’m at now, but believing that there’s something bigger and better in store. We can’t just sit around waiting for that bigger, better thing to happen when God has given us tools to push ourselves, improve our lives, and become more skillful. Push past the glue and gravity toward passion and purpose.

Published on Jul 31, 2013. Music video by MercyMe performing Move. (C) 2010 MercyMe

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Passionate Living

I hate to admit it, but my twenties were more Carrie Bradshaw than Mother Teresa, not to compare my current self to Mother Theresa but you get the idea. I had my own group of girlfriends that would meet up for Sunday brunch and talk about the latest in our love lives. I had my own Mr. Big who was playing hard to get or maybe just playing. At the time I thought passion was going after a guy, leaving behind all inhibitions. I thought love was losing yourself in someone else. As I grow in maturity in Christ, and well, just plain maturity, I realize that passions are those things you would do regardless of pay, recognition, success, things that make you tick.

As you could probably tell from my previous posts I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes me tick, and how that fits into my plans for the future, my destiny if you will. At times it seems it would be easier if God just told me His plan. Of course He does tell me in the little everyday things and through His Word, but as far as I know there’s no Book of Chelsea published in scripture.

I’ve narrowed down at least three broad areas that I’m passionate about. Thanks to my pastor who revealed a few things to me about my passion just yesterday.

One of my passions is creating. I made this dress for my niece last summer.

I made this dress for my niece.

In no particular order:

1. Creating – I love writing, sewing, paper crafts, photography, etc.

2. Teaching – It brings joy to my heart to see people learn, no matter their age.

3. Volunteering/giving – My parents were always giving of their time and resources, so I guess it is a learned passion.

Once you have narrowed down your passions you can take God’s Word in scripture and apply your passions to His commands. How can I love God with all my heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37) by using my passions? I can create things that reflect my love. I can learn and teach His Word and His ways. I can give to others of my time, words, and resources just as Jesus did in scripture. This is just one example of applying scripture to your passions.

As you do your daily activities and spend time with God this week ponder what your passions are and consider how they can be used to glorify God. Then ask God to reveal more about how He wants to use your passions.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:8-10

Heavenly Father, thank you for the passions you put in each one of us. We confess to squandering our gifts at times, and ask that you help us to serve you by considering how we can use our passions to glorify you. We seek your will for our lives, and ask that you open our eyes to new possibilities. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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Aim and Intention

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines purpose as “the aim or intention of something.” This is where we get hung up finding our purpose in life. If we look at just this definition of purpose it seems we have only one purpose or goal, one thing we are supposed to do and if we don’t do it we’ve missed the target. Well, we may have one overlying purpose, but that doesn’t mean we have one thing we are supposed to do in order to achieve our destiny.

The evidence is clear that we have a purpose, but God has given us many gifts to achieve that purpose. And although our overall purpose is the same, the way we achieve that purpose, through our unique gifts, is individual.

In Rick Warren’s best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life” he explains that life has a five-part purpose:

  1. For God’s pleasure
  2. For God’s family
  3. To become like Christ
  4. To serve God
  5. For a mission

While these are important to know as Christians, we probably had some idea our purpose was to glorify God in these ways. I don’t know about you, but it’s after knowing that where I get confused. Until reading an article recently I thought God had told me to find the treasure without the treasure map. I feel like I’m walking in circles around a destiny that I don’t know is right there in front of me.

In Liz Henderson’s one-page “statement” article in this month’s issue of Relevant magazine she clarifies that your purpose is not your job. Okay, I already said that in the above outline from “The Purpose Driven Life”, but Henderson suggests you find your real purpose by asking yourself, “What do I care about? Who do I enjoy serving? What would I do even if I didn’t get paid to do it?” She goes on to say, “In reality, it’s quite basic. At the end of the day, our purpose statement is all about tapping into the unique gifts God has given us, finding a way to live those out here on earth and, in the process, bring glory to Him.”

While Henderson is trying to take some of the weight off a heavy topic that I know feels like a burden to me some days, Jon Acuff, in the March/April issue of Relevant magazine gives this idea of purpose an even slimmer appearance. He breaks down this issue into 7 questions built for a slightly younger crowd than myself, but still altogether helpful. His first question is, “What are some things I want to do with my life?” He stresses not to concentrate on just one goal, but some broad goals that you recognize could change as our world evolves technologically and otherwise. Secondly, he asks, “Who really knows me?” The reason he asks this is because the third question involves those in your inner circle to help you define, “What am I awesome at?” Ask other people because they will point thing out you didn’t recognize about yourself. You don’t want to stop there because, as he mentions in the first question, society is always evolving. So, the fourth question is, “Am I still learning?” This doesn’t mean you need to enroll in college again (for me that would make three), simply that you should be learning wherever you’re at. Maybe that means learning a new skill at your job, taking a class at the community center, listening to Rosetta Stone. His fifth question is important for us all even though it’s written for 20-somethings, “Will social media come back to haunt me in my later years?” Do you really want your future employer or clients seeing what you put on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram? Examine your motives before you post. Acuff’s sixth question is, “Am I a selfish jerk?” It is important for all people to serve others in some way. You should never be too busy to do this. Which leads to the last, and my personal favorite. Acuff asks, “If my life were a movie, would I cheer?” Let me tell you, this was a hard one to consider.

With all this said, (I’m sure, losing my dad’s attention a few paragraphs back), I think I’ve gotten a little to anxious and self-centered over my purpose and goals in life. The truth is that God created me, and as my creator only He knows which part of the “body” I am. If I consider Warren’s five reasons I am on this earth and reflect on the things I do the most in my spare time, my passions and what makes me tick, I think it will be much easier to find my purpose. It’s not rocket science after all.

Heavenly Father, You are a creative Maker. You fashioned us each to be individuals, fit together to make one body. We thank you for our individuality, for our similarities as well as our differences. Father, teach us to recognize your prompts in your Word, in wise counsel, in signs and wonders, as well as in your nudging us in the gifts and passions you placed in our hearts from the time we were created. Remove the yoke we’ve put on ourselves that carries the weight of finding our one calling. You know our purpose and you hold nothing from us. Thank you, Lord, for your generosity, love, and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Yes, the body has many parts, not just one part…He has made many parts for our bodies and has put each part just where he wants it. What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! So he has made many parts, but still there is only one body.

1 Corinthians 12:14, 18b-20 (TLB)

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