In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What's your passion?

I believe we're each created with gifts to bring to this world.

Each of us has a passion, a part of our heart that when ignited, burns to bring light to both ourselves and those around us.

Just this morning I read the following words in Jeremiah 20:9 (NIV):

But if I say, "I will not mention him
or speak any more in his name,"
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.

Jeremiah's passion was to proclaim God's word. Even if people didn't respond (and they didn't) he still proclaimed because that's who he was, what he was born to do. His passion burned so strong that it was as if he almost couldn't keep himself from doing that which he was born to.

What's your passion? What lights the flame of your life?

I've been thinking about this, trying to ascertain what's my passion. I guess one way to do it would be to look for themes in our lives. Where has my heart consistently led me?

For me it's the hurting. Whenever someone is hurting I almost can't contain myself from reaching out to them.

That's why I ended up working in the mental health field. A large portion of my work has been with the mentally ill. No one seems to care about them and most people find them offensive.

I remember an encounter I had when I was running this one facility. The facility had never made money; the company who owned it kept it simply because it was locked into a lease agreement with a group of other facilities that did make money. When I became the administrator one of my goals was to find a way for the facility to make money. The company didn't really expect that, no one else had and I was a brand new administrator, my first facility. But I believe that to be a leader means to do what you believe is right. So I prayed and prayed and looked and looked. During this process God brought a company that did drug research across my path and I met to discuss the possibility of them purchasing a few beds from our facility. (God blessed and it took me over a year to get the program up and going. But, although I'm no longer at that facility, the facility does now make money due to the revenue from that program.) The president of that company met with me one time in the beginning and toured our facility. Afterward he totally surprised me by saying that he did want to do business and that it was because of me. My surprise must have shown on my face because he went on to explain how he really liked the way I knew all the patients names and interacted with them as we toured the facility. Initially I found myself thinking, don't other administrators of psych facilities do that too? Then I realized that his statement wasn't really about me at all, it was about him. He wasn't comfortable around psych patients. His company was by no means limited to psych med research and he was not a fan of the mentally ill. I remember that incident because it underscores my observation that people really don't like the mentally ill and would rather their lives did not include them.

That's part of what draws me to the mentally ill. They're hurting and, by and large, no one wants to help.

My passion extends beyond just the mentally ill but that's where many opportunities have opened for me in the past. It'll be interesting to see what doors God opens in the future.

What about you, where have your passions led you? Where do you see yourself going?

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