We are passionate about what we love
By Billy Holland
A while back, a good friend wanted to know if I would teach her husband how to play the guitar.
Though I have led worship in church for years, I am not really what you would call a guitarist. I enjoy writing songs and using the music as a vehicle to relay messages about the Christian life.
Anyway, she had an old guitar in the attic and thought it would be wonderful to hear her husband develop a musical gift. He is in his mid-sixties, and up to this point has never mentioned anything about playing and singing.
But, nonetheless, she announced for his birthday that she had paid me for several lessons and went on to say how excited she was to see this come to pass. With being put in such an awkward position, he pretended to be thrilled and as it is commonly called was, “a good sport about it.”
In the first lesson, I was able to speak to him privately and asked if this was really something he wanted to do. He would just laugh and sigh as he struggled with the chords that were killing his fingers.
Each week I would bring more homework for him to practice and I could tell this idea had turned from being comical into more of a burden.
I’m not declaring it’s impossible to learn something new when we are older, because we certainly can, but I am saying if we have never been passionate about a particular subject our entire life, this is probably not our calling.
Gifts and talents are given by God and usually placed within our heart when we are filled with energy and enthusiasm. In this particular case, the individual had never felt a stirring deep within his soul to play music, and was only trying to make someone else happy.
It was obvious he was not practicing during the week and of course was not advancing in his ability to play. Eventually he gave up just like everyone else that attempts to do something on a whim. Gold medals are not won by demonstrating a mediocre interest and a half-hearted effort.
We can appreciate others when they attempt to persuade and offer suggestions about our life but ultimately, it’s our responsibility to discover what God has called us to do. I believe that unless we have a relentless passion and a driving determination to accomplish something, we will end up reminiscing about what could have been.
It would be like a father telling his son how he wants him to become a bodybuilder. The dad converts the basement into a gym, plans all of his meals and then relays to everyone about what a champion his son will be someday. This just does not work unless a burning desire is embedded within the heart of the individual who can not only see the vision but is consumed with a fervent aspiration to succeed no matter what it takes.
I guess by now you have figured out where I am heading with this, and I confess it causes me to think deeply about my personal devotion to Christ. Is God really at the top of my priority list? The Bible mentions a condition called lukewarmness, and I am sorry to say that I have been there many times.
Sure, I can act religious and talk Christianese but the truth is that I do not always live like I should. Why? Because I simply do not want to. Much of the time I use excuses in order to justify my lack of spiritual enthusiasm. The principles of sacrifice we use to be successful in the natural world can also be applied when we attempt to draw closer to Jesus.
Since we have a free will that relentlessly tries to influence our decisions, we will only be victorious when we lay down the law about who is really in charge. Where do I begin? First, I must understand that my carnal flesh hates everything that is connected with following God. Secondly, until my desire to accomplish God’s will becomes stronger than the desire to serve my own, I will remain the same.
Dr. Billy Holland lives in Central Kentucky where he is a Christian minister. Learn more about his book, “A Lifestyle of Worship” and ask for a free copy of his new CD, “Keeper of My Soul” at: billyhollandministries.com.