July 26, 2010
A Passion - Let it Go, Dig Deeper or Embrace Another - Karen Toews
There's nothing like being passionate about something - an activity or expression that gives you focus, inspiration and fulfillment. A friend of mine discovered her inner artist in her forties, and from the get-go, her talent was obvious and her passion palpable. Through hard work and education, the appreciation, awards and value for her paintings are increasing. She's having the time of her life - immersed and absorbed in something she loves to do.
Yesterday I toured six gardens in our area of Nova Scotia. The blend of God's creation and these gardeners' visionary design and hard work was splashed across these landscapes - a display of handiwork wrought by zealous commitment.
When my husband was in high school, he knew he wanted to be a carpenter-builder. Almost forty years later, his passion for the process and creativity of construction hasn't diminished.
Observing others enjoy such fervor and satisfaction makes me feel: motivated, intimidated, challenged, negative self-worth about my own shortcomings, angry at circumstances that are somehow to blame for my own lack of focus, or (and I hate to admit it), jealous that I'm not experiencing the same drive and results from a passion of my own.
When I was in my forties I too discovered a passion - running. It actually grabbed me, a fitness activity that I shared with my husband. I loved everything about it: the effort, the physical rewards, the pain, the accomplishments, the camaraderie. I believe that God gives us abilities, and I openly thanked Him for allowing me this personal joy - and the opportunities for coaching others. I used the philosophy of running as a parallel for other avenues in my race of life: learning and teaching nutrition, being an example for an active lifestyle, making and achieving goals, using it as a vehicle for raising funds for missions. I felt I was treating this passion with respect, balancing my expectations with the realities of my physical body.
Four years ago an injury began a journey of redirection. Treatments, exercises, therapists, classes, costly appointments - it's been an on-going quest that I regularly lay down and pick up. Endless analyzing and strategizing is tiring - I question if unlimited funds would be the answer. This pleasure/force that helped define and motivate me is now radically limited, a one-of, on a list of fitness activities for my goal to remain strong for years to come. And I still miss what it was.
Countless hours have been spent praying for direction, crying for help, asking for healing. As time lapses, and hope waxes and wanes, I want to know what to do with this passion - do I let it go, dig deeper, or embrace another? Until I know my answer, I will continue to seek Him....
"...Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened..." Luke 11: 9, 10 (NRSV)