My oldest plays soccer. She loves the game. I am still trying to figure it out. She's learning a great deal of patience in trying to explain this game to me. Like most Americans, I only paid attention to the world's most popular sport when the United States was in the World Cup. That is, until she started playing.
Now I find myself sitting on the sidelines surrounded by other parents cheering our heads off. In between cheers we are explaining to each other why the referee made that call, what position is our children are playing and why are they putting the ball back into play there instead of over there. Another dad and I were sharing our shock that now we even stop to watch soccer on TV. A pack of parents comically shares a passion about something they don't fully understand.
Passion for this game comes from a passion for my children. Without them, soccer would just be another sport. Passion is incredible. Passion is the powerful and compelling feeling that motivates, sustains and rejuvenates. The Bible has a lot to say about passion. Paul, once the greatest opponent of Christianity who by grace became its greatest proponent, writes "I do all things for the sake of the gospel." (1 Corinthians 9:23).
This sounds simplistic until this phrase is held up against the opposition he and so many others faced because of the gospel. He and the company of many others were arrested for their faith to do all things. He was beaten, shipwrecked and left for dead because of doing all things. The history of Christianity even with its very jaded moments countless others lost their lives doing all things for the sake of the gospel.
There are days when life does not feel fair. There are days when we are overcome by the deep rainy November in our souls. Days when walking away to anything else would be better than enduring what is in front of us in the moment. These are days when passion is vital.
Passion keeps the heart fresh under duress. Passion pushes forward. Passion reminds us of the greater calling that compels us to endure, to never give up, never surrender.
Passion says the purpose is worth enduring the price. Passion says suffering costs are worth it. Passion from God says you are worth it.
Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.