Thursday, September 29, 2011


Perhaps you are one of the fortunate few who experiences the thrill of something immediately coming to mind as you read this word. 
Yes. I have known this. 
feeling or emotion that prevents reflection. 

Passion, in its very definition, annihilates reason and suppresses caution. 
Indeed I have a passion for ... 

Fill in the blank. 

Unfortunately for me, my attempt to replace the "dot, dot, dot" returned void. The only comfort upon this realization was the feasible assumption I was not alone. Look around. Passionless people surround us. 

Few notice and even fewer care. 
But not all. 
No, not all. 


Donald Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz, used to hate jazz music. But then, one day, he watched a street performer play jazz music for forty-five minutes. The musician didn't open his eyes once. After that day, he loved jazz. He concluded that sometimes it takes watching someone love something to love it yourself.

I have a "Donald Miller" experience every time I see a dancer perform. It stirs something in me. There is something powerful, almost mesmerizing, in dance. If a heart of passion is being expressed in movement, I have a difficult time remaining in my seat. My heart wants whatever it is the dancer has managed to find.

But longing for a passion is not the equivalent of passion itself. 
While a passionate person stirs a desire for passion, man is rarely able to instill passion secure enough in a heart to ignite a movement. 
There is a disconnect. A disconnect between our desire and our reality. 

-Roland Barthes 

Let us look to Jesus's definition of passion. 

Acts 1:3
To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Passion- also translated: suffering or enduring; specifically referenced the time period between the Last Supper and the Cross. 

This was the passion of the Christ. 

For years, "passion" was referring to the suffering and martyrdom of the saints. Then in the 1580s, a sense of sexual love was first attested to in the meaning of passion. And by the 1630s, passion simply pertained to strong liking, enthusiasm and predilection towards something. 

I can just hear what must be running through the readers mind as he reads this. 
Ok, the word means something different now. Why go back to its original meaning? 
Because... my question is: has the meaning of the word really changed? Or is it our understanding that's shifted? 

You see, I believe we sell ourselves short when we equate passion with happiness. Look again at the descriptions and definitions of passion. Happiness may at times be a small part of the picture, but it's not the complete picture. 

How many wrong notes sounded out before the street musician was able to play without ceasing with his eyes closed? How much time, pain, and effort went into the "effortless" dance routine? 
Yes, this is the key. 

The reason we live passionless lives is because we refuse to bear the weight. 
The quote is worth repeating:

And this is my question:
Assuming passion is contagious, if the result of Christ's passion was the salvation of our souls, what could this mean for believers who are willing to endure? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I will not build my life around creating a security for myself that you've already secured. I trust your conclusion about me, not my own.


The only thing I fear more than distance from God is intimacy with God.

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.
They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die."
Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."
The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
Exodus 20:18-21

All my life, at my request, "Moses" (also known as - pastors, teachers, books, worship music, etc...) has come between God and myself. You go to the Lord and I'll listen to what you have to say. You break through the barrier and tell me what you've seen. I'll memorize what you have to say about it and attempt to conjure up the same feelings. I'll stay here. You step out in faith. 

I've feared the "thick darkness where God was" too much to attempt approaching it for myself. I've now come to realize the result is my relationship with the Lord is dictated by what others have experienced.

What is the bible? It's letters and accounts of brave soul's encounters with the Lord. Call me crazy, but I think it's still being written...

Maybe it's time to taste and see for myself.