I’ve realized lately that although some of our passions don’t directly relate to “kingdom work” maybe God wants us to dive full-heartedly into them because He may use them in ways we don’t expect.
I have a close friend who, for five years thought she had to give up everything, including her passion for music in order to be sent to a foreign country where she would minister to the poor and needy. She felt that her music was self indulgent when so much of the world was perishing. She just didn’t see a model in the bible of artisans. But when she finally went, and realized her specific personality and skills made it very hard task for her, she just came to a place where she didn’t want to do it anymore. She felt like God wanted her to want it, and she just didn’t any more. And she felt that He released her from it.
Later she saw that the Old Testament craftsmen who built and adorned the temple were doing exactly what God wanted them to do. And she thought that maybe she could too! But as she set her mind to it, now she realized she had lost five years of pursuing her creative passions that were so deeply set inside of her.
Not that God didn’t appoint her for that time of ministering to people, and refining her heart in some beautiful ways, but she had sort of thought that God was less pleased with her pursuing her passions. Now she’s looking at her life and realizing that maybe that itch to create music is a large part of what God wants her to do, even if she doesn’t know how He will use it yet! It’s exciting watching it start to catch fire in her. She’s really good– I’ve heard her stuff.
I’m much more selfish than she is, and don’t know if I would give up my passions so easily, but I think maybe another model of service could be we pursue what we love and then look for ways to give it to the kingdom.
As an example, I want to hype a couple opportunities that have come my way, that have really triggered this idea that God has put secular passions into us which he can use to do his work.
I like to write/illustrate/publish all sorts of books and I’ve done it for years. But check this out. I was put in contact with a 16 year old girl who loves to draw tattoos. But she is in very difficult medical circumstances where she is in and out of the hospital for surgeries all the time, and because of it has a very valiant perspective on life. So she and I (and her mom) have started work on a project where we want to write her inspiring story and work together to make her art into hopeful tattoos, and maybe therapeutic coloring book pages. It looks like we are both using our secular passions to make something hopeful we can give to struggling people in the world!
Also, I have a degree in Industrial Design and lately those tendencies have gotten me passionate about designing my Tiny House! (How can TINY HOUSES help the kingdom???) And the builder I found, Lamon Luther, uses their business to train and employ homeless/poor men and help them out of poverty. It looks like right now I will be parking my Tiny House on his Tiny House Village next door to his factory and I will live alongside these men, and be accessible to teach his employees and their families my design skills. Sweet! I’m totally stoked that I can help the poor with the passions I’ve spent my life fostering. And I’ll get to design Tiny Houses for people who trim their lives down the essentials! I’m a big fan of that!
I know that although it might be more urgent to tell your neighbor about your faith, or preaching the gospel to unreached people groups, I wouldn’t discount it if you think God is calling you to focus on your passions that don’t seem to be directly contributing to those things. So when it seems like God puts a passion into you to pursue your favorite things, don’t be too skeptical, and be ready to do it full heartedly, and then be looking at how He can use it to give back to his kingdom.
Raw Spoon, 7-2-16