i don’t know if i’d ever heard this description of passion before, from Jurgen Moltmann (Kenda Dean references it in Practicing Passion):

passion is loving something enough to suffer for it

i think i could go sit in a cave (or, more likely, a hotel room) and ruminate on that for a year. it sure had my head buzzing friday when i read it on a plane. and i talked about it all weekend (likely, the people i spoke with thought i was a simple caveman who’d never heard the word passion before, as this was, of course, its obvious definition).

i’m kinda big on passion. my wife gets really tired of me “doing talks” on passion at camps and retreats and such. i preached on it at my church last year. i’m not sure if i’m naturally pre-disposed and pre-wired to be into passion (likely); or, if i’ve experienced stuff in my life (whatever that would be) that would drive me to embracing passion (likely); or, that it’s some combination of those and other factors (likely).

when i realize i’m passionate about something (like, let’s say: an idea for a book we could publish at YS, or an event idea, or a book i can’t wait to finish reading, or a family vacation), i experience a fullness of life that pulls me up above normal living for a bit. and those blips above the surface seem to be — as i look backward — the markers of my spiritual journey. even if the moment of passion (or day of, or week of passion) doesn’t seem to be anything remarkably church-y or jesus-y, later, i can see that it’s become part of the unfolding of my spiritual journey.

those markers (i’m liking the word ebeneezer these days) are holy points, mercy points, grace points. they’re the “thin places” (i can’t remember where that phrase comes from) where heaven and my existence are a breath apart; where God’s story and my story are scratching each others’ backs and rubbing each others’ shoulders.

i guess what i’m thinking is this: every moment of passion in my life is a holy moment. is that true? i suppose it’s more accurate to say: every moment of passion in my life is pregnant with the possibility of holiness.

hmm. still more to think about.

3 thoughts on “passion”

  1. i read that line in the letter to your nephew and blogged it myself (linking to you of course) so that i wouldn’t forget that quote.

    passion and suffering… i blogged that maybe i’m a bit more excitable than i am passionate – suffer, eh? what a great screen to sift my decisions through now – am i passionate enough about this idea/dream/mission/work that i’m willing to suffer for it? hmmmm… if i’m not then maybe it’s really not worth my time…

    great to see your blog marko!

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