When Passion Kicks In

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good work which God prepared in advance for us to do.    Ephesians   2:10

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESZack has never been well spoken. In fact, when he’s forced to put his thoughts and feelings into words, he shuts down. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I just can’t explain it.”

That answer usually infuriates me. It feels to me like Zack’s trying to take the easy way out. When we get to this cyclical place, I push him and I push him to try to find the right words. Usually he ends up in tears; and I feel like the worst mother ever.

That’s when I conclude that his brain just isn’t strongly wired for language. He spoke late as a child, and had Early Intervention for it. He’s very strong in math and computers. I can’t expect him to be strong in everything. So I back off, and I support him with his deficits.

Well, an interesting thing happened last week.

 A few weeks after Zack was signed up for the Cross Country Team, the Lego Robotics Team was formed. Zack desperately wanted to join Lego Robotics, but the two schedules conflicted. Both required signed contracts committing to good attendance.

I don’t typically try to break the rules, or encourage my kids to manipulate things, but my gut was telling me that Lego Robotics just might be Zack’s “thing.” So, sneakily, to keep him on both teams, Zack and I mapped out a schedule. It alternated his absences so he still met the requirements of both, yet wouldn’t get kicked off of either.

Last Wednesday, Zack was scheduled to miss Lego Robotics for Cross Country, but he put up a fight. When I asked him why, I got the usual response: “I just can’t explain it.” I calmly told him that unless he could verbalize his reasons for choosing Lego Robotics over Cross Country, he’d have to comply with our schedule.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, Zack came up with a solid and supported argument. Moreover, he was eloquent in his delivery. I was floored (and slightly ticked because I feel like I’ve been played all these years)! Consequently, I let him skip Cross Country for Lego Robotics.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot since. I do still think Zack has a strong verbal deficit. But Lego Robotics is where all of his strengths, gifts, and interests come together. He has finally found his passion.

Something happens to us when passion kicks in. When we finally find our place, our purpose, our “thing,” we transform. Suddenly, we’re able to do things we’ve never been able to do before.

Even if that passion adds more work to our day, we magically feel lighter and more energized. Like Alli Worthing says in her book Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy, when you find your purpose, “instead of breaking you, your busyness will bless you.”

I’ve noticed that when Zack has to stay up late to do homework on Cross Country days, he complains. Yet when he has to do the same thing on Lego Robotics days, he doesn’t say a word. He’s willing to take on the extra work on those days because he’s blessed by what Lego Robotics brings to his life.

In my own life, I’m stepping back, trying to reevaluate my own busyness. Some of my ministries aren’t blessing me anymore; they’re just breaking me. I think that’s God’s holy nudge telling me it’s time to make some changes. As Jesus says several times in the Gospels, He desires mercy, not sacrifice.

So I’m trying to clear the docket to make room for whatever God is calling me to next. It took a long time for Zack to find his “thing,” with a lot of trial and error along the way. But seeing how Zack has transformed, in all the right ways, I am inspired to trust that when the time is right, God will lead me to what He has prepared in advance for me to do.

Questions For Reflection:

 * Have my kids found their passions yet?

 * If so, what is it like to watch them in action in their true purpose?

 * Have I found my own passion and purpose in life yet?

 *If not, have I created the time and space so that when I do find it, I am available to respond?
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