Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hang On To Passion

by Donna L. Watkins

A couple weeks ago a battle began here in our community to come against the Board that wants to kill off the deer because some of the residents want to garden in ways that worked in the city, but do not work in the country woods. Actually this battle has been going on for over two years, but a recent ruling made it obvious they would set a date for the killing in September.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Yellow-bellied Slider Turtle - Costa Rica
As you might guess I am passionate about wildlife. If you don't want to live with it, that's fine, but don't take away the rights of those who move to the country and woods because they want to live with it. And don't talk to me about shooting guns or arrows in my backyard.

I can't express in words what the birds and critters around our home mean to me. Some days I feel as though they are the fine line between sanity and the craziness around me. They teach us so many of life's important lessons if we "tune in" to listen.

The passion of this wildlife project that has hit my daily agenda has made me more alive than the focus I've had on trying to find a winter home for this health issue of rheumatoid arthritis. The former being a great passion of my life, the latter being a negative necessity of my temporary current life.

We all need a mission - every day! It keeps our minds healthy with the flow of good-feeling, pain-relieving neurotransmitters (hormones). My body flows well when I'm in the garden watching the bees, hummingbirds and butterflies buzzing about. Their flittering and glittering make me feel carefree and happy. Most of us can't spend the entire day in a garden, so what we do with our lives has to make us just as happy as that setting. We need to be involved in what we are passionate about.

The world is a delightful place when we find a part of it that fits into our heart and very being.

Sometimes we let ourselves get bogged down by the things that are not quite right for us at this time of life. That's the pathway to gloom and doom. If you're a parent you've got plenty of opportunity to walk that path wondering and worrying over your children and grandchildren. They are in God's hands and if get too deep in the muck of trying to control their lives, we find ourselves covered from head to toe with the devil's slime.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Yellow-bellied Slider Turtle - Costa Rica
Come out of your shell! Focus on your passion in life and your example will change the lives of your entire family. Psalm 112:1-2 says, "Blessed is the man who fears (trusts in, honors and obeys) the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed."

Wonderful promises, but did you see the purchase price? There's always an "IF clause" before God's blessings. We have promises of delight all around us, but we spend too much time whining over the promises and not enough time purchasing our tickets to redeem for them.

"The just shall live by faith" is a lifestyle. We have to hang in there when the going gets rough. Remember Daniel was in great distress for his people (Daniel 10) and he fasted and prayed for three weeks. When the angel came to him, he was told that he'd been dispatched right away, but Satan blocked him. Satan will always be against us.

Prayer in faith is our breakthrough. We only join the Enemy's side when we are down-trodden and depressed. We stand and watch all the people in line getting tickets to their promises and whine and cry to ourselves that we're not getting a chance, or we're not being blessed. All we have to do is step out and purchase the ticket. It's not an easy walk uphill in the heat of the battle, but how easy is it to wallow? It produces physical pain and mental torment.

Leave it behind! Walk in Faith. If you have to spend 15 minutes out of every hour in the Bible or walk around continually muttering a Scripture that lifts your heart, do it!

What will lift your heart and mind faster than anything else is to walk in your passion. Don't let anybody tell you what you are passionate about isn't important. God places in our hearts what He calls us to do. There's a reason your very being burns with desire toward a certain thing. A daily mission will change your life even if you only get to invest a small amount of time in.

Even if it's just visually reviewing your dreams and continuing to plan for living them out, while you go about your daily tasks ... that in itself will make a difference in your life, your health, and your mental outlook on life.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Bromeliad - La Selva B.S. - Costa Rica
Hang on to your passion! "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and being certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11) It's just how it works in the Kingdom. Don't give it up! You will die cell by cell and waste away. Revive it. Write about it.

Share your passion to bring life to it. Use the comment section below to write down what your dreams and passions are. You can do it anonymously, but it will inspire others.

It's said that writing something down makes it more certain that it will come to pass. Get it out and focus on it. Keep a copy of what you write beside your bed so you can go to bed dreaming and counting on your passionate future. Do it now!

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Anonymous said...

Thanks Donna,
I've become passionate about genuine love. During my recent mission trip to New York, a leader kept urging us to let our love be genuine. We heard testimonies from folks about how they were "loved" into the kingdom of God. Even a former homeless man who hadn't been touched for ten years while he was "stinky and homeless", except for pranksters who tried to set him on fire in the park while he slept, or being beaten while trying to rob a store. Then he told how the Pastor who had been praying for him for 27 years finally encountered him and embraced "stinky" in the longest hug ever while heaving crying saying "Jesus loves you, Jesus loves you!" This "stinky" man said 'do you think I would believe his Jesus loved me if he had backed up because I smelt of feces? (In his poverty, he was not able to have clean underwear for ten years!)This Pastor's love was genuine!! Our group had an oppurtunity to go out that afternoon (after this "Upper Room" experience)and give toiletry bags to the homeless we encountered in the city. My small group (myself and 2 high school students) met a homeless man in Penn Station who asked us to get him some clean underwear because he was not allowed to use the restroom by security. Imagine sitting watching folks walk by with their$4.00 cups of coffee and their cell phone toting 9 year olds following in the latest Gap fashions, while they can't even buy underwear. After we bought the different items he and another homeless man (who was in a wheelchair) needed, including underwear, shoes (the same size as my son), socks, etc; they kept thanking us. We hugged them (yes, they were still "stinky") for a long time, not backing up and wept in their ears "Jesus loves you, Jesus loves you!" I pray they felt that love because it was genuine. So, my passion is how to bring this genuine love home to Virginia and really be the "Body of Christ" to those who need His genuine love the most. To touch the least of these and give dignity and respect to the son's and daughters of the King, no matter where we find them. To restore their hope. In Christ alone!

sharingsunshine said...

How incredible is the love of God. Only in His strength can His children be salt and light (and HUGS) to those who need it.

It's certainly true that there are far too many people preaching Scripture without the passion or calling behind it.

After all, Jesus said love was the most important, right? Matthew 22:37-40 has Jesus' reply to a question of what was the greatest commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Our greatest challenge is to love ourselves so we can love others. The media has blinded many to think that it's how we look, dress, act, talk, where we work, etc. that makes us who we are ... not true!

We are created in the image of God and that makes us super loveable (and everybody else also).

Thank you for sharing the possibilities out there and for inspiring many others .. and me!

Anonymous said...

Donna, Thank you for such wonderful article. I have become passionate about being a good mother to our new daughter. She is 3 1/2 and lived her first 3 years in an orphanage. I want to give her all my motherly love. I want her to experience the unconditional love that only a mother can give. The Lord is good and merciful and He blessed my husband and I with a beautiful, curious, healthy, energetic child. I want to make the most of our family and give her all she needs to be a healthy, well balanced Christian -- who will know to fear God. This is my passion, my family. The challenge we have is that I left my job and for the past 7 months we have become and one income family....a big change for me. However, I know that all the time we spent together doesn't have a price at all and we trust that the Lord will guide us and give us the wisdom to continue our journey. Blessings,

sharingsunshine said...

What a grand passion to have Carmen! How awesome a heritage to be building into your new daughter also. And of course God will provide. There are a zillion ways He can bring in finances or give you wisdom on cutting expenses. website might give you some great tips and a community of folks that can guide the way on managing with one income.

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