Whatever you do, do it with all your heart for the Lord...
What are you really passionate about? How would you describe the feeling you have when you are living out your passion?
A few months back, I bumped into a gal I know who is passionate about running. When I asked her about a recent race she had been in, her whole face lit up. She smiled throughout our conversation and could hardly speak fast enough to give me all the details about it.
Melissa is serious about running. She is invited to run the Boston and the NY marathons every year; everyone else’s name is put in a hat and only run if their name is drawn. She has sponsors who clothe, shoe, equip and fund her for each race. And she was selected as one of the Midwest’s top 20 runners last year and recently won the TC Half Marathon and Relay. She pours her whole heart, soul, mind and strength into what she loves.
She reminds me of the British Olympic runner, Eric Liddell, who back in the early 1900’s was quoted as saying, “God made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure!” It was the smile of God that kept him going when his shins ached and blisters developed on the bottom of his feet!
My hubby is a Food Scientist at the University of MN. He works in Dairy Research and loves it. So much so, we planned a trip out east one year just so he could follow the Vermont Cheese Trail. Yes! There really is such a thing!
We spent three full days visiting sheep and goat’s milk farms.
While Rey chatted up a storm with the farmers and helped them in their cheese-making operations, I spent my time chatting with and snapping pictures of goats, sheep, and chicken, with a few flowers thrown in for good measure.
Rey is passionate about cheese. His Gruyere has taken the Blue Ribbon two times at the State Fair in recent years. But, let me be frank...it is no easy thing...cheese-making. It takes knowledge of chemistry, microbiology and engineering; it requires trial and error, and it is back-breaking work stooped over steaming hot vats to separate the cheese curds by hand.
But, regardless of the pain and poundage he loses, especially during the hot summer months when running air conditioning can damage the necessary bacterial growth required to make it, he continues to be passionate about making cheese.
One of my favorite photographers is a guy named Ric Ergenbright. Ric’s photography appears regularly in major magazines, books, and ads. More than 60 calendars of his images have been published, and his work has been the subject of three television shows. He is a winner of the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding travel photography and is among the small number of contemporary photographers represented in "Odyssey: The Art of Photography at National Geographic," that has toured the world. And, sweetest of all, Ric is a precious Christ-follower!
I have a copy of his book, “The Art of God.” Paging through it, there is no doubt Ric is passionate about reminding folks to stop and marvel at the beauty of God’s handiwork.
In order to capture the shots he has taken, he has endured sandstorms in the Sahara, has climbed and camped out in mountain peaks in the rain in the anticipation of shooting morning mists lifting from the valleys below, and tread through rainforests littered with dangers. But, sharing the glories of God’s creation in photos is something he is passionate about, so for him it is worth every risk to bring those God-moments back to us.
When we are passionate about something, not only is our heart in it, our mind whirls with ideas, creativity and strategies to bring it into fruition; our spirit is enlivened, putting a spring in our step, and we are willing to pour all that we have into that passion, even if it saps our strength to accomplish it.
What are you passionate about, my friend? What do you do that brings God pleasure?
I'm living my life for an audience of one. I live my life to please God.
Anne Graham Lotz
Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.