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)


  1. Oh, I enjoyed your posting. You hit a few 'nails' on the head for me too.... thank you for sharing.

    Asking Him that the eyes of your heart be flooded with light so that you may KNOW the hope to which He has called you in this season and time.......

  2. Great post, Karen. Praying for you.

    This reminds me too of what one Fall Conference speaker kept telling us... we are called to love and obey God --- today we might be writing, tomorrow He could ask us to do something else.

    I say -- being flexible is a big challenge!

  3. We all have our personal struggles and sometimes they just are not as visible as others, you will find that level of satisfaction... "ask and it shall be given"


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