Even those with seasonal allergies can marvel at the colors of spring. Some describe it as God’s pallet. Within your neighborhood there are dozens of shades. Go to a place like Longwood Gardens and you’ll marvel at hundreds. Consider all corners of the world, and there are hundreds of thousands. Why so many? Massive diversity was part of the plan. Maybe it was God’s way of showing us the beautiful uniqueness and interconnection of His Creation.
The same diversity can be identified in the animal world. The human mind had to create categories to process so much information. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to rank order these categories into favorites. God doesn’t have favorites. Everything was created in His image and was designed with a purpose to function together. Too often we forget God’s plan or our role in it. Maybe we haven’t yet identified our part.
Today in Voorhees, Pastor Jeff expanded the Getting Personal Series into the arena of Fierce Love. He used an example of the protection that a parent or grandparent would provide towards their youth. “Fierce love overcomes fear”, said Pastor Jeff. The passions of life offer intense feelings as you reach for something of value. They can make you breathe heavy, even suffer. God inspired passions are always worth it. The questions of the day became; What is your passion beyond your family? How do you know it is a God inspired passion?
Hope Church offers programs that can assist. On Monday May 7, Marilyn Bills leads a series in Voorhees from 7:00 till 8:30 entitled Passions, Pathways and Gifts. A similar series will begin in a private home in Mt. Laurel on Tuesday, May 22. Details for both are on the website, www.meethope.org.
My pathway to God is relational and my gifts have been in education and communication. I’ve used my love of written communication to educate about the glorious uniqueness of having and living with Down’s Syndrome. I was not afraid to share how God was using my daughter as a living example of pure love identified in 1 Corinthians 13.
Pastor Jeff identified three key elements of God inspired passions. I must admit that these benchmarks were something I often struggled with in my early, writing days. In 2000 I wrote a manuscript (two actually) about Laura. We had a publisher. Many things blocked the project from completion, but one was the publisher’s desire to highlight my role as a father rather than the lessons elicited from her struggles. The “book tour” would highlight me not her. I didn’t want readers to view me or my family as praiseworthy. Once we dissolved our contract, I decided not to give up my passion, but to share everything for free. I pray that in doing so, someone has seen the Hand of God in our stories.
The way you link with God and how you use your unique gifts are critical to advancing God’s desires. Do you connect in creative, relational, intellectual or contemplative ways? Or are you more of a server, activist or worship specialist? What unique gifts has God given to you? Whether at home, church, school, business or socially, God expects you to utilize your gifts for the good of His kingdom. If you use them properly He will allow a fierce, fire to burn in your soul. You will not be consumed or destroyed. You will attract others like the burning bush.
God gave us incredible beauty and uniqueness, but He never promised it would always be easy. Even the most connected person has some of life’s petals fall on him/her from time to time. With a pure, purpose driven heart, you can find your productive place in the kingdom with a smile on your face.