Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Leaky Passion

For years I've held onto a potent little proverb from Bill Hybels, "Vision leaks". It's true... really true! When we talk about vision, we typically speak of it being both clear & compelling. Undoubtedly, clarity is critical; but if clarity drips out, then passion must run. It seems by far the leakiest thing in our heart.

Think about it... marriage, friendships, jobs, ministries, recreation... even our walk with Christ. He is the most clear, most compelling object of our attention in reality. And yet, somehow, most of us find ways to stumble into what we frequently call "dry" seasons of spirituality. Why are they dry? Is it a test? Maybe not. Maybe it's just leaky passion.

Passion, like fire, needs constant renewing. Wood burns down to embers and then falls to ash. Fire needs more... always more. It is the nature of the infinite God we worship. He is deep & then deeper. He is beautiful & then more beautiful. He is complex & true & yet still unpredictable! Our passion flows from God's passion. It is part of being in His image. We are warriors because He is a warrior. We are lovers because He is a lover. We are passionate because He is passionate... infinitely so, in fact.

And because of the infinite nature of our passion, we must continually feed it & renew it. "Be renewed," the apostle says, "in the spirit of your mind". The new self is an infinite self. It is in the image of God. A perfection without limit or end. And when we stop renewing our passion's fuel, when we forget why all this matters, when we leave the center of our burning Source, vision becomes burdensome... no matter how clear it is.

So what's the point? Keep our own passion renewed, right? Well... yeah. But there's more. You see, as much as every person is responsible for maintaining their own passion, Christ-followers also bear responsibility for the passion of others. And that means renewing our passion for renewing their passion.

Hebrews 10:24-25 ... Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.


BAB said...

I was just listening to a sermon on "losing your first love." This seems to be one of the easiest conditions to slip into. I know it is really difficult for me.

John Lynch said...

For me too. Especially in contexts of alone-ness.