Passion

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Timing is everything. As I now post just my second blog, I read Michael Kinsley’s essay in the December 1 issue of TIME where he asks: “How many blogs does the world need ? There is already blog gridlock.” This is consistent with me entering the stock market at its peak. When I get in, that’s a signal for everyone else to get out. However, now that I’ve taken the blog plunge, I plan to stick around for awhile. So…..

Do you have any regrets ? I try not to dwell on the past; I like to call to mind Satchel Paige’s advice: “Don’t look back; someone might be gaining on you.” Nonetheless, I do have two regrets. The first is that I didn’t spend a year after college traveling the world.

The second regret is that I didn’t start to think about passion until I was in my 40’s. The other side of the coin is that I am grateful that I started thinking about passion in my 40’s rather than my 60’s, 70’s or never.

I am passionate about family and about vulnerable children around the world – society’s marginalized; Jesus’s “the least of these”. To lead the Gladney Center for Adoption into the next decade is such a humbling and awesome opportunity for me, because now I wake up every day, and my passion and my job are one and the same.

In the movie “Braveheart”, Mel Gibson screams one word before he dies – “freedom”. If you were to scream one word (a noun, not a name) at the end of your life, what would it be ? For me, it would be “passion”.

Besides figuring out what we are passionate about, I think we are also called to live passionately. What does this look like ? It involves risk – it means purposely placing yourself in situations that aren’t always comfortable; that cause you to reach beyond yourself.

Tim McGraw’s song encourages us to “Live Like You’re Dying”. Good advice, since it applies to all of us. Our days are numbered. Maybe in order to live passionately, the question to be asked is: How do you want to die ? I want to die broke, having just given away my last dollar. I hope to die with no regrets. (I’m gaining ground on the two I mentioned previously.) I want to die with scars and bumps and bruises because I went into uncomfortable places. I want to collapse at the finish line, with no gas left in the tank.

Let me know if these thoughts resonate with you.

4 comments:

Cathy Moore said...

Your second blog brings to mind the John Maxwell's quote, "A great leader's courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position." I love that!

Gladney is very fortunate to have a leader who not only holds the position... but, also, has the passion to courageously fulfill his (our) mission.

Since our life's meaning and purpose is mostly determined by the object of our passion (what we are actually passionate about), it is very fulfilling to work for Gladney and with so many great people who are truly passionate about our mission… “to provide loving homes for children, a caring environment for birthparents, supportive services for Gladney’s families and adoptees, and assistance to orphans and underserved children throughout the world.”

I agree with your blog... I can't think of anything more meaningful than that!

Nancy said...

Uncle Frank - welcome to the blogosphere :) What a wonderful post, and one that I resonate with strongly. I look forward to reading more of these...

Annie said...

I really liked your ending. It reminded me of an article called "Apostolic Passion" that I read. If you're interested, you can read it here: http://www.undertheiceberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/Apostolic%20Passion.pdf

stacey said...

Just starting the adoption process with Gladney. As an adult I've tried to live according to my passion for helping people facing crisis and injustice, but adopting from Ethiopia will be the biggest "walk the talk" experience of my life, I'm sure. Anyway, I've enjoyed your two posts and look forward to more.