Posted 12 Jun 2012
I like reading the daily devotional called “Word for Today”. Here’s the article for 08/06/2012, below it are 2 asterisked/numbered notes that occurred to me about this particular entry…
Be Passionate About It
‘…I have…determined to do his will…’ Isaiah 50:7
Isaiah said, ‘I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will.’ You’ll never have real success with anything until you become passionate about it. The Psalmist wrote, ‘My heart is steadfast…’ (Psalm 57:7 NKJV). The word ‘steadfast’ means to have a commitment that’s as strong as rock. Henry Ford was passionate about automobiles. Thomas Edison was passionate about light. The Wright Brothers were passionate about flying. Paul was passionate about evangelism. You will only be remembered in life for what you were passionate about *1. Standing before Pilate, who tried to judge Him, Jesus said, ‘…For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world…’ (John 18:37 NIV). Eight inches of thorns would crush His brow. A spear would puncture His side. Spikes would be driven into His hands. Thirty-nine stripes would tear His back to shreds. What He felt most passionate about could only be achieved through pain. The same will be true in your life. You may feel insignificant. You may have to start out small. But when what you love begins to consume your mind, your thoughts, your conversation and your schedule-then you are headed for success *2. Do you dread going to work? Do you watch the clock? Does your mind wander to other places and things you would rather be doing? Then you won’t succeed. Find something you feel passionate about, something that energises you, something worthy of building your life around. Jesus did and He won the world.
*1 – “You will only be remembered in life for what you were passionate about.”
Assuming I am remembered at all, which is quite unlikely, from where I am standing!… I would like to be remembered as the guy who did all those amazing Bible Cartoon Illustrations!
*2 “You may feel insignificant. You may have to start out small. But when what you love begins to consume:
1) your mind, 2) your thoughts, 3) your conversation, 4) your schedule, – then you are headed for success.”
What occupies my mind, thoughts & schedule is Bible Cartoons! Based on that little list, then I would say that I am well on my well to “success”, however you define that word! The only aspect of that list which could not be said of me is the conversation bit, I don’t volunteer information about Bible Cartoons, unless other people ask about it. I was reflecting on this earlier & I realised there are 2 related reasons for why I don’t talk much about Bible Cartoons:
1) When I was a child I liked to make models. I liked space & science-fiction, & I was a bit of a dreamer. I don’t think my family particularly “got me” (is that true of most people & their nearest & dearest?!) & certainly my school colleagues gave me a hard time about my interests. I learnt pretty quickly to mask my passions & interests – for fear of rejection I expect.
2) More recently two people who are close to me have commented on my single-mindedness (perhaps they would say compulsiveness or even obsessiveness?!) about Bible Cartoons. Apparently it was virtually the sole topic of my conversation at one point! When I hear from other people that I am becoming a bore about what interests me, I “back off” hurriedly & quickly shut up about that subject.
It’s amazing how a persons’ reaction to me today can elicit the same reaction from my childhood – 30-40 years ago!
To be fair, it probably isn’t the interests themselves that elicit negative reactions in other people, & puts them off, it is probably the intensity with which I pursue them, or, at least, the intensity with which I talk about them! I probably come across as being single-minded & compulsive. In fact I am simply being passionate about doing what I love to do: drawing the Bible Cartoons. Perhaps I simply don’t know how to communicate that passion in a socially acceptable way? This is most likely a “man problem!”
One of the unfortunate outcomes of these experiences is a lack of confidence in telling other people about my work, at least in person. Clearly I write quite a lot in Twitter, Facebook & on this blog… but then, you don’t have to read it, do you?!
I may not be confident of “selling” BCP to other people verbally, because I am worried in case my passion & delight at my work comes across in the wrong way. I do find that hard to assess! I don’t want people to see me enjoying my work & think that my conversation about it is somehow “rubbing their nose in it”, particularly if they don’t enjoy their own work. I know just how amazingly blessed I am (by God) to be able to do a job I love. I also know how few people can say that about their job – I get that!
Perhaps I haven’t learnt the appropriate level of conversation about what interests me: the right level of passion, detail, etc to give to any particular person I am talking to? Perhaps I need to learn to “read” people better? I’ll try to do that in future. I’ll probably get that wrong on occasions, but that’s OK – it is better to try & fail, than never to try at all!
Back to the “Word for Today” article: the title is “Be passionate about it”. Well I am passionate… about a great many things, not just Bible Cartoons. I love my wife, I love my family & friends, I love Jesus the Christ, and I love a lot of other things too. But I probably spend the most time & the most effort on the Bible Cartoons. That is my current passion & it is a Bible-based, God-focused, Christ-centred passion too… so I don’t think I’m going to apologise for this particular passion any more… I’ll just try to be a bit more thoughtful in how I communicate it to other people in the future!
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