I was talking with my brother (by another mother) yesterday. It’s always a good tonic to talk with him. He gets me, and I get him. We come from the same place, and yet we’ve formed different takes on things that help each other.
As we were talking, the topic turned to things that have been left behind in the pandemic. He noted that pro football, basketball, baseball, and hockey have become something of a forgotten side note in most people’s lives. And I realized that I haven’t watched a single college football game or kept up with the latest rankings.
It seems like this pandemic has forced us to realize – in daily living, not so much in philosophizing – what’s really important to us. There are some routines and activities that I’ve clung to tenaciously. There are others that I’ve actually forgotten that I’ve forgotten. I suspect the same is true for you.
I’ve found this realization-after-the-fact to be quite comforting. I’ve found it to be something like the exhale of relief after the last bag of junk from spring-cleaning has been set at the curb with the rest of the garbage. The excess weight and worry have been lifted. The unimportant junk of life has been given the heave-ho, and now I’m free to focus on my passions.
But there’s just one problem with this: The most important passions in our lives are not always of our own choosing. Or maybe I should say it this way: Sometimes the most important passions in our lives come from around us and/or above us. We don’t pick our families, and sometimes we don’t even really pick our friends. And yet, they are the most important people in the world to us. Likewise, we didn’t choose to be created and we certainly didn’t pick our Creator. And yet, if we have listened with all our heart, soul, and mind, He will become the preeminent passion in our lives.
I’m so thankful for all those who taught me, by their example, that God must come first and that nothing else will be rightly ordered – and joy-filled or peace-filled – in my life unless He is my first passion. And how do I know that their lesson has stuck with me? Well, in the midst of this pandemic and the winnowing down of stuff and clutter in my life, Jesus is still on top. And I don’t mean in just my words. I mean (very, VERY imperfectly) in my deeds and actions.
By his grace, God still holds me tightly in his grip, a grip that no passing fad or dark pandemic can loosen! There’s nothing I could ever imagine for myself that would remotely rival his plans for my life. Likewise, there’s nothing I could ever imagine for myself that would remotely fulfill me the way He does.
Is Jesus your passion? If not, he wants to be. He may not be your first choice, but you’re His first choice. Never forget that.