Learning to Live Passionately

I tend to live cautiously. I’ve never had a broken bone. I’ve never been seriously injured. In high school I had friends who did crazy things; not me. In college I had friends who did crazy things; usually not me. While other people poured out their passion about something, I tended to live up to my status as a middle child: peacemaker, safe, careful. I know that there is good in these traits and they are important for much of life but the downside is that these traits tend to create a life lived halfway. I am continually learning that to be a follower of Jesus can never be halfway.

Jesus says to the Church at Laodicea: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth…you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked … Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me (Revelation 3:15-20).

Notice that Jesus tells them to be earnest and repent. The word translated earnest means “to burn with zeal, to be heated, to boil, to exert one’s self.” The call is move from lukewarm to white hot passion, from halfway to all the way, from simmer to rapid boil. This is how a follower of Jesus is defined.

I must admit that too often my fear of risk-taking prevents me from this boiling hot passion for Christ and the things of Christ. Does that resonate with you?

Recently I came across a quote from British novelist, Ronald Dahl (1916-1990): I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is not good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.

I want to be an enthusiast in life, to go full speed ahead, to embrace life with Christ with all that I am, to be white hot for the presence and the things of Jesus. Let’s set our sights on living passionately for Christ, beginning today.