What’s your passion?
I can’t hold back when I overhear it. When the conversation turns this way, I have to jump in—the ministerial fellowshipping process in the UUA. But that’s not my passion: just my current obsession. It’s not what drives me to get out of bed in the morning, just the thing that occupies a lot of my time right now. That’s probably a bad thing. But it’s worth lifting up this distinction between “passion” and “obsession,” I think.
So now that I’ve told you my deep, dark secret (I can’t stop thinking about the fellowship process), let’s talk about my passion. It’s both simple and daring: I want to be a part of helping to make people whole, to transform the often meaningless, empty lives we go through the motions of, so that we might have meaning in our lives through making communities of faith that help to improve our world.
There it is, both simple and just about impossible. Every time you feel like you’ve had a big success, something goes wrong. And those successes usually take a ridiculously large amount of work to achieve, and are often undone by the smallest of mistakes (or, worse, by an intentional act of sabotage on someone else’s part).
That’s where faith comes in. Passion goes a long way towards starting good works. It’s necessary, but not sufficient. Because when your passion winds down, or at least takes a little break, you need something to keep you going. For me, that’s faith. I believe in something much greater than myself. I believe that, despite the ample evidence around me, we really can make progress toward the Beloved Community, what my Christian friends call the Kingdom (or for you liberal folks, the Commonwealth) of God. That’s faith, passion’s older, wiser cousin.
About three months ago, this post started life as a response to the UU Salon. I missed the deadline on that, but it’s still worth posting, I hope.