I just wrote this in my personal journal. This is unedited.
I’ve written before that I struggle with feeling and exuding passion.
I just had this picture of a driving force such that every spare moment is coveted in order to make a particular investment.
Perhaps it’s a romantic relationship, with every available minute spent together, or at least on the phone. Perhaps it’s 15 minutes, enough time to grab a camera and snap a few photos. Perhaps it’s time enough to scrawl a few more lines, or to read a few more pages of the current chapter.
I often find myself with moments available, sometimes large chunks of time, such as evenings, when I don’t feel a need to just zone because my day hasn’t been overly demanding or stressful. So I have time and energy available; capacity, but no passion.
And so, I wonder what I should do. Occasionally, I do watch a TV show or movie. Often I read, because that seems like a wise thing to do–but even there I struggle because I retain so little of what I consume.
There are some people, many perhaps, driven by a desire, an urgency, a passion, such that they don’t have a minute to spare. I’m not looking for a frenetic life, but a full one, a life with sufficient direction and motivation to place a premium on time and energy, to have an ever-ready answer to the question of “what should I do with my time?” It gets tedious (and wasteful) to have to ask that question nearly every day and then to spend time and energy searching for the answer.
All this, despite the fact that I am a person of faith, that life has a purpose, that God has work for me to do (enough work?). There are things I hope to accomplish in life, and occasionally I take some incremental steps in those directions, but I sadden myself with how much more progress could have been made already if I would grab a hold of the moments, rather than just thinking about them.
I don’t want to turn into a workaholic (is that the danger I’m keeping myself far away from?) and I am intentional about being faithful to my job, but yet there is so much more opportunity. Ironically, I often find myself discontent with whatever I’m doing at the moment, and yet when free to move on to the next thing, I often am not even sure what that next thing is, or should be. So I wash dishes. Or check email. Or write journal or blog entries exploring the same issues in life once again.
What am I holding myself back from? Is it fear of failure? I don’t think so. Perhaps it’s just fear of passion itself, getting so swept up into something that it becomes a central facet of life. While that could turn out badly (obsession, idolatry), if it were the right central focus of life it seems like it would be incredibly empowering to embrace it and follow hard after it. A goal. A mission. A quest.
But first I need a compelling dream, a vision so powerful that it can derail me from current pursuits (books I’m already reading, plans, schedules) and command my energy and attention. There again: is it the fear of loss of control, giving myself over to a pathway which will evoke–and also enflame–passions, pursuits which may dominate who I am, my time, my resources, my abilities, my choices?
It hardly seems safe.
But it could be good.