I began a journey last week-an exploration of 15 little words on the sleeve of my take out coffee cup – a questioning of what it means to live the life you want! The beginning was just that, a first step, a very small baby step that led to more questions but an opportunity to find some answers with all of you. The joy in the journey is that your presence here and your voice in the conversation will only make it better.
As I read these words “The only courage you ever need is to live the life you want” spoken by Oprah, I knew instantly that more time and study was needed to fully understand what those words mean for me but also for others. As I added a list of questions to dig into last week (click here to catch up), my heart knew that this journey would inevitably lead me closer to God and His anointing of me and everyone else for a life well-lived.
Today we will look more closely at passion and the question -Do I follow my passion and/or am I currently involved with my passion? To begin, I knew that I could successfully list what living the life you want is not.
This short list highlights a life that is routine, self-centered and exhausting. This life does not highlight Jesus as the center and the passion to honor Him in all we do.
Your quick comeback might be “But I am following my passion! I am doing what I love to do! I am the living the dream!” The question is whose dream are you following???
As I read through many posts of encouragement or thought-provoking words on social media, I came across a little snippet on passion. Mike Rowe, a public figure who hosts the show “Dirty Jobs” was asked by someone why he said we should not follow our passions. His response was rather lengthy but here is the part that caught my eye. (Click here to read it in full-Off the Wall)
Mike Rowe over the years discovered that we, especially corporate America as well as big name stars, are too quick to offer the advice to follow your passions without any thought to understanding if this truly aligns with who you are and what your skill set might be. He also learned in his own life that even though woodworking was a passion, he was not very good at it. His grandpa gave him this wise advice “ ‘Staying the course’ only makes sense if you’re headed in a sensible direction. Because passion and persistence – while most often associated with success – are also essential ingredients of futility.” Mike finishes his response with the words “Don’t Follow Your Passion, But Always Bring it With You.” To me, this last quote sums up the fact that just saying we are following our passion doesn’t make it true and it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are fulfilled and skilled at it.
This leads to the question “is what I am doing what I want to do or what God has chosen for me?” Our real passion in life comes from God who chose us and our path even before we were born.
[Tweet “Aligning our purpose, passion and place in life requires the anointing of God’s plan for us.”]
Some very dear, wise people in my life have also described passion and their words always point back to Jesus. They describe passion as the gifts that God has anointed you with aligned with His plan for your life. Following your passions would look like aligning your life with what God is passionate about and sometimes this is not always in sync with your passions. It is a daunting task to follow God’s passions for us, but when we align our purpose, passion and place in life, God’s passion becomes who we are when we say “yes” to Him.
Your voice and your heart shared here on this page will bless the community that visit here. I would be honored for you to join in the conversation!
Next week, we will look at who we are living our life for-what centers us and what keeps us grounded and moving forward. I cherish each and everyone of you and would love to see you back here next week. If this post encouraged you or got you thinking and you don’t want to miss a single post, please sign up to receive my email newsletter.
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I love it when God’s plan aligns with my passions. My husband and I had a great conversation last night (unfortunately, at midnight) about spiritual gifts, how we can use them, and what we have a heart for. We have been serving in the same ministries, for the most part, but we realized that it’s my passion, not his. I do believe God led us here, but maybe He now has a different place for my husband to serve.
BTW, I found you via CommentLuv on another blog. The title of this post drew me in, and I’m glad I stopped by!
I love that you popped in and left encouraging words for me. It is amazing when our passions align with God’s purpose for our lives. The blessings that come as a result are many. I will be praying that you and your husband continue to have this conversation so he may discover his passion and God’s desires for him. Sunday blessings!
Great post Mary! I think that I have seen signs for quite a while to change my path and follow my passion. It is difficult to believe sometimes that we cannot do it for ourselves. It is a blessing to be able to let go and let God handle our lives with His perfect direction!
Absolutely Verona! Letting go and letting God lead the way is always the best. I know that many times I try to figure it out first without God’s help but always end up turning to God for the help I need. Have a blessed weekend!
I’m living the dream in that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
It’s not comfortable, it’s lonely, and it’s exhausting, but taking care of our ‘sanctuary dogs’, writing to try to encourage others, and dealing with a terminal illness is where I find myself now.
It’s worthy of my best efforts. And that’s enough.
A lot of people have wondered that it doesn’t smack of futility. Sure, maybe. You can’t save all the dogs, you can’t reach a lot of people, and you’re going to die. Why push so hard?
Why? Because making one small thing better is better than doing nothing. Because taking the side of the light against the darkness is holding onto the hem of His garment.
And because we never will know, in this life, what was futile, and what made God and all His angels stand up and cheer.
And all the people said “Amen”. Love your description of “taking the side of the light against the darkness is holding onto the hem of His garment”. Yes-choosing to move forward whether futile or not and choosing to put forth our best effort is always worth it and I for one am going to believe that by honoring God-He and the angels will be cheering.
Hi Mary! I didn’t know that Mike Rowe was such a deep thinker! I really like his common sense approach to the question of following your passions.
How many times do we see singers on those reality shows who just love to sing but are unfortunately just terrible at it? Should they follow that passion? Heck no. But sing for fun, and be passionate about it. That sounds like good advice to me.
Have a blessed night!
I love your connection to a reality singing show. There are so many times I’m talking to my TV (it can’t hear me :)) asking why they even made it in front of the camera. Having dreams is so important! Having dreams that align with God’s dreams and the gifts He chose for us is even better. Blessed you stopped by and pray that you have a beautiful Friday!
What a wonderful series, Mary! I love that it was inspired by a quote on your cup. Oh, that Oprah! I so agree with you here (and Mike Rowe). I have always loved to draw and thought for sure I would be a great artist by now with gallery openings every weekend ;)! But honestly, God did not give me a gift in this area. It is still something I love but not something I pursue. He always laid writing on my heart and has given me an outlet and path for that. I feel now more than ever that I’m following His plan for my life and getting to live out my passion at the same time.
I love that our passion matches God’s plan. When everything aligns you know God’s Hand is in it and it is good! I love having you visit here! I pray that we may all see God’s Hand in our lives and use the gifts that He chose for us for His glory! Happy almost Friday!
Passions are a lot like marriage … we think we are giving to our partner for the sake of our marriage, but really we’re giving so that we can get back what we want. I was going to do a post on this very subject for today’s WW post, but decided to keep it for another day. I think we, myself included, get sidetracked by our desires and that can get us off track in the God-given passions we’re meant to pursue and invest in. Thanks for another intriguing post, Mary! And hugs to you for being such a lovely and encouraging friend in the blogosphere!
I will be very interested to read your post when you write it about giving so we get what we want. I agree that we can twist anything to fit our needs and desires and we can then turn and say this is what God has chosen without listening for the truth. I believe that our world lets the mainstream become the place where we look for answers rather than God. Exploring how God should be part of our lives is so important. Blessed by you my friend! Happy Wednesday!
Hi Mary ~ Sometimes we need to see what life is NOT so we can clarify what it SHOULD BE. I love the image you posted, bright and clear. A super visual for sure.
Oh to be more absorbed in what God wants for us to be, rather than our constant reflection on what we ourselves want to do.
Blessings as we keep on moving through this week …
Yes to everything you said! Looking to ourselves seems to be the way of the world. I’m thinking this is the case because it is easier and we always think we know what’s best for us. Turning to God to pray and learn what He wants for us takes time, effort and faith. Hmmm-sounds like hard work but oh so worth it! Blessings to you too!
Oh and PS – We LOVED Mike Rowe & Dirty Jobs at our house!
Love this question, Mary —> “is what I am doing what I want to do or what God has chosen for me?” How we answer that will make all the difference! So glad to have stopped here this morning. Have a great Wednesday!
Glad to see you today! It’s so easy to choose our life’s goals without any thought to what would really honor God but asking that question should always cause us to pause. I am loving your series on The Circle Maker! I’m also glad you like Mike Rowe-Dirty Jobs. He has some interesting quotes on his Facebook page. Have a wonderful day!
I love the idea of doing what God wants but brining your passion along–it’s something that I’m slowly learning. Our passions might be meant to be our hobbies, but the skills we learn whilst developing those hobbies might be usable in God’s work.
Yes! Thank you for saying it again a little differently. Who we are is who God chose us to be even before we were born and the gifts that He blessed us with should always be used to honor Him. Blessed you popped over here today Anita! Love seeing your beautiful face! Have a wonderful week!
“is what I am doing what I want to do or what God has chosen for me?” – That is such a great question and one that I find myself asking, actually, in every season… usually about halfway in to something, I stop and just sort of take account to make sure we (God and I) are on track! The Good News is often times, what I want to do IS what He has chosen for me… but oh when it’s not, it is just that much harder and I find I will be doing much of the work in my own strength… I’ve come to learn that it’s just not worth it, if He’s not in it!
Visiting from Holly’s today, where we are neighbors!
So glad we are neighbors today! Trying to keep up with all you #31dayers is not easy but I love visiting and hanging out at your place. Blessed by your words today and insight into how God works in your life. Being “All In” with God is definitely the way to go! Hugs friend!
Great thoughts to ponder, Mary, and I am sitting here re-reading and pondering some more. But I really like that quote said by Mike Rowe, ““Don’t Follow Your Passion, But Always Bring it With You.”
Much love to you, friend.
Thanks Beth! I love having you here and I’m glad the quote and post gave you some food for thought. Hope your life is moving forward in your new normal.Hugs!