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Somber

Passion and disappointment. An odd juxtaposition of words, would you say? Last week I had an interesting discussion about passion with some college students that was prompted by a chapter within The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

We developed several different definitions, and had a lively debate about where passion comes from, but the one consensus we came to was that passion is something that moves your blood with excitement when promted by a particular idea. So, if you made a list of things that stir passion in you, what would they be? Would you have a long list? Short? How fast can you think of even one thing that truly creates passion in you? And if you can think of at least one thing, what do you do to feed that passion? Is it alive an well in your life, or dormant - tucked away in an impossible ideal world?

I've discovered that one thing that steals passion away from people is disappointment, either by their own experience or through the discouragement of others. I have two things that have created passion in me recently in life - the first is the spiritual transformation I have seen take place in the lives of people in the university setting. The other is the life of faith and holiness led by a particular person who let me share in her life for a while. The first one led to the decision to dedicate my life to campus ministry, the other led to realization of the impact one person can have on another.

But both have also led to bitter disappointment. A tremendous spiritual fire set by Satan in Alabama forced an unexpected shutdown to my campus ministry career track. And the decision by the other person to follow a different call from God than me led to the vaporization of marriage visions. Both have tested my faith and maturity. Both have taken me to great heights, only to show me sea level again.

But even so, I never want to let those things temper my passion. If satan fogs the incredible vision that is contained in the idea of campus ministry, then I'll definitely never see the heights that he can show me. God will never be able to transform the hearts and minds of students if his tools are afraid of the fire that he is plunging them into to forge their strength! And Satan tells me that I will never know the kind of power that was given to each other in the relationship I had. But God is saying "I've shown you a picture of holiness - now be that in your life!! The devotion you had to her - that's the relationship I want you to have with me!!"

God never made anything great that Satan didn't work to destroy. One odd measure of how great God's works are in the world is how hard Satan works to use them against people. Is Satan working overtime to tuck away your passions? Then you'd better get all the more excited about them, because you've found some good ones.


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