Passion lies at the center of our spirit, in the marrow of our bones, in the deepest recesses of the soul. At the heart of all great literature, poetry, art, philosophy, theater, psychology, and religion lies the naming and analyzing of this elusive aspiration that we typically call dreaming.
Augustine wrote that Christian spirituality is about what we do with our unrest, both in terms of handling the pain and the hope they bring us . . . He stated: 'You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.' Christ responds to our unrest as no other being could ever respond. His life spilled over with passionate love when He walked the earth... so that everyone who came in contact with him either loved him or hated him, but one had to have been pretty poisoned to have done the latter.
Christian spiritual passion allows us to dream. It is the spark that ignites the fuel within us to create something of ourselves. It is inspiring, exciting, and invigorating. Without it our lives can become commonplace, tedious, mindless shells of existence.Whenever I feel empty and don’t know where to turn, I find God meets me in His Word and my writing. I can pour out to Him whatever I’m feeling in the most lyrical terms I can find where the richest parts of me are saturated with a mix of pain and joy.
Donald Miller wrote, ¨Self-discipline will never make us feel righteous or clean; accepting God’s love will. The ability to accept God’s unconditional grace and ferocious love is all the fuel we need to obey Him in return... God woos us with kindness. He changes our character with the passion of His love.Our ´behavior´will not be changed long with self-discipline, but with love a human will accomplish what he never thought possible. The laziest of men will swim the English Channel to win his woman... by accepting God’s love ...we have the fuel we need to obey.¨ -- D. Miller
I think what Miller is saying is that the healing power of God’s love leads the way to sanctification, but that we like to put the cart before the horse seeking to change ourselves first in order to find love... I’ve tried that one for many years and it only produced a form of religiosity that secretly dies of boredom.
I’d like to finish this topic with one more Miller quote,¨I am learning to believe better things. I am learning to believe other people exist, that fashion is not truth; rather Jesus is the most important figure in history and the gospel is the most powerful force in the universe. I am learning not to be passionate about empty things, but to cultivate passion for justice, grace, truth and communicate the ideal that Jesus likes people (that is, He is not angry and aloof) and even loves them.¨
Miller discovered the secret to love by understanding how God risked Himself for you and me, therefore I will risk myself on you, so that together we learn to love by this same gravity that drew Him unto us.
© TR 2007