As I was leaving the gym tonight the 80s classic, “What a feeling” by Irene Cara, was blasting from the spin class.

“Take your passion, and make it happen.”

I struggle with this idea of following your passions.

Not long ago a pastor asked us to follow our passions. Another time, a small group leader asked, “Why is it important to follow your passion?”

I couldn’t quite put my finger on why this edict or question disquieted me.

In typical fashion, I started mulling it over in my head and asking questions. Why is following my passions the right thing to do? What feels wrong about it? What good comes of it?

David followed his passion — Bethsheba — and that got him into of trouble. Samson followed his passion, breaking jawbones and wrestling bears, and ended up in a sorry state. Jezebel followed her lust for power.

I’d be interested to hear a take on some heroine or hero of the bible who actually followed her or his passion to achieve what God wanted. It seems to me that God raised up people for “such a time as this” and used their talents, skills, and gifts or endowed them with such attributes to achieve what was needed at the right time.

I also don’t think that following your passion is particularly the wrong thing to do. After all my passion for eating keeps me fed. My passion for writing keeps me posting daily. These definitions of passion are more like intense drives and not methods of living my whole, one life.

Interestingly, when you look up the word “passion” the first definition in Merriam-Webster is the suffering of Christ. It’s only the second and third definitions that make us think of being acted on by outside forces and emotions.

Wow! Follow my passion. Do what I find passion in. This seems a bit off-kilter to me.

Perhaps, I’m being too literal. Yet, it’s important to me that my passions align with those of the Kingdom of God. ❤