the funny thing about words is that sometimes when someone says something, it gets stuck in your mind and you find that everything that happens to you for the next week or month revolves around whatever you heard – like a theme of some sort.
in sesame street style, this blog entry is brought to you by the word “passion“.
it was two weeks ago that a friend shared about things that bind us and keep us from reaching our full potential. he talked about passion; about how it defined his life, in good ways and bad. he spoke of how he looked up the word and found that it meant several things – powerful emotion, lust, violent anger and extravagant enthusiasm – and how each one of those definitions related to him.
it got me thinking about what passion is to me and the word kept popping up in the days that followed.
the one definition that stood out the most was “extravagant enthusiasm“, or a strong fondness for something. to feel for something, someone so strongly that it drives one’s every action each day. it’s quite foreign to me.
i know the things i love. i love music that evokes feelings from my usually stoic heart, literature that takes me to another world, the company of people that are sincere, science that shows the true wonder of God…but what am i passionate about?
my week-long stint at xfresh last year was the first time i worked among people who really loved what they were doing. although the fishtank was nothing more than a cybercafe encased within glass walls and most of the work done was through the clicks of a mouse and taps on a keyboard, i could see the joy of the staff at xfresh. they enjoyed programming, designing, writing. their passion shone through all they did.
i spent the last three weeks at crest, a christian crisis relief ngo that sources for donations and volunteers, then responds to any disasters by mobilising teams to wherever there is a need for help. the main staff consists of four very ordinary people who, through their love and obedience to God, are doing extraordinary things.
the floods in johor stretched them incredibly thin. their faces carried the lines of stress, sleeplessness and fatigue. yet, when i look at them, i see a light around them, enclosing them and driving them to do God’s will at whatever cost.
those two incidences are true examples of passion, although they are very different. the bubbly people at xfresh had the passion to do things that made themselves happy. the staff at crest did things that made God happy, and that sustained their desire to keep doing whatever they’re doing.
there are many more examples. i could see the passion and joy in my teacher mentor’s eyes as she spoke about the possibility of going full-time into missions work, teaching children in third world countries.
just yesterday, a friend proudly showed off her collection of original music – pretty darn good original music, i must say – and it was clear that she knew what the soundtrack of her life, her passion, is.
i have seen what passion can do to people who uncover what it is. it changes the very way they breathe and see the world. it is strong enough to overrule every lie that can break our spirits.
i know what i love. the question is, where does my passion lie?