Monday, August 03, 2009

Passions

I had an idea for what I wanted to write about today. Slowly over the past 6 hours I've been gradually researching it (among other things as my day permitted) but I just haven't been able to focus on it.

It was this inability to focus on the subject that I wanted to talk about, that enlightened me to what I needed to reflect on instead.

I wrote the other night briefly as a status update that I felt ignorant, incompetent and incapable. The background on this was that I was running lights for the Saturday night service, and there were some.....problems. I lack the knowledge to be able to fix the specific problems that came up, as did anyone else who was there. Unfortunately Justin had to come in and fix what had happened.

Justin is who i'm filling in for in the first place. So that he does NOT have to be there.

So I was very frustrated at my own lack of expertise in the area I was volunteering in, I'm still not entirely done beating myself up about that either.

I brought this up at our small group last night, and Jenny pointed out something about the event that hadn't occurred to me yet. She said that she thinks my frustration doesn't stem so much from that one event but is much larger than that. That the origin of my frustration comes from my feelings that i'm not doing what I'd want to do. That i'm filling in these areas at church as...well...filler. That i'm frustrated because i'm spending my time doing things that I am not passionate about.

More so, i'm frustrated because I KNOW the things that I am passionate about and the things that I want to be doing (at least in a very general sense). And i'm not doing them. I'm frustrated with the failure and ignorance because I would have been even frustrated with the success of the activity, so it was magnified in the failure. So, what am I passionate about?

What I'm passionate about:
  • Listening to people
  • Talking with people
  • Learning things about God, about the church, about life, about the world through study and interaction
  • Teaching things that I learn in communicative ways to others, and hopefully learning as well through it
  • Helping people through their problems, helping them to become more of what God calls them to be. Helping to get over the pain and the anger and disappointments of life.
  • Creating/organizing ways to achieve that goal
  • Identifying and solving problems in existing programs. Making programs and procedures as efficient, effective and faithful as possible
  • Analyzing failures and shortfalls. Not to wallow in them, but to stop them from occurring again. To really dig into the garbage and get over the personal/corporate hump that is stopping up the progress
  • Helping to cast vision. Discerning what needs to be done alongside others and finding ways to make it so
  • Leading, challenging and motivating others to achieve those goals
Over the past five--six years, I wouldn't have put any of those on the list. The list would be shorter. I would probably only have "playing music" and "cooking" on it.

They don't even make the cut any longer.

They seem to just pale in comparison of a sense of fulfillment. I still somewhat enjoy the activities, but I am no longer passionate about either. I doubt even a little. This has come to light especially lately as I have tried reading books/materials related to either field. They no longer "do it" for me. And yes, I do both the activities themselves, and it's not much better.

But I know I had all these passions before. I remember them quite vividly. I remember the things that I did in relation to them.

And I know why I stopped.

I know what caused me to bury these passions, to convince myself that I was not worthy of experiencing the joy and fulfillment that I did every moment while living with these things in mind and living out these purposes in the past.

I deadened myself to my own passions. To the passions and talents that God has given and entrusted me with. I've thrown myself into a state of barely being conscious while I'm awake. To merely zone out as much as possible until I go to sleep, so I can wake up and zone out to make the time go by faster until I can go to sleep again.

But I can't seem to be able to do it anymore.

God has been stirring up my old passions. He's been using NPC to do it, but still. When I'm away, I feel a need to be there, while I'm there I feel a need to do more, when I leave I want to turn around immediately. It's like a magnet pulling me and I can feel something inside SCREAMING at me that this is where I need to live out and reignite my old passions. That this is where God could and wants to use somebody like me to further his advances. That this place is where I could be of the most good.

The screaming is loudest while I'm there, but it doesn't go away while i'm not. It does however drown out and make insignificant nearly everything else besides my family.

It makes what I've created for my life over the past half decade, my day-to-day even more meaningless and empty than it was before. When I lived every day to just to zone through and fall asleep at night.

I suppose the feeling never went away, but I was able to drown it out. But now IT drowns out everything else, and feeding it just a little only makes it stronger.

9 comments:

  1. Ray Kelejian5:33 PM

    Danny,

    Just a couple of comments:

    1. When I first started serving at NPC about 5 months ago, i chose an area that I DID have a lot of expertise in. I have been working with Macs for aver 20 yrs so I knew I would feel comfortable right away. Well, my second Main service that I ran Pro Presenter in, something went wrong with one of the videos, it wouldnt ply for whatever reason....totally not my fault at all...The point is I beat myself up about it for DAYS, and it was not even my fault. I even sent an email to Jeff telling him I understood if he did not want me to return. He basically told me that well, Crap happens, and some day, something will go wrong and it WIL be my fault, and that would be ok too. Although I totally understand how you feel, you do not need to beat yourself up, its really OK.

    2.Although I am pasionate about Macintosh computers, its not my PASSION. My passion is music..I've been playing Electric Guitar for over 35 yrs, and my real dream right now is to be up onstage playing with Jeff and the band..But, I have yet to try out. This is what I beat myself up about week after week...NOT auditioning. What's holding me back? Who knows? Insecurity? Nervousness? Feer of rejection? You name it. So...I can really relate to having passion, and beating yourslf up because you ant to do things right and be excellent. And that is exactly what Jeff said to me that time..We need and want you on the team because of your commitment to excellence


    Cheer Up!!

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  2. Danny,

    Love your bloggings and thanks for sharing. I can empathize with you on so many points.

    I thought your laundry list of what makes you passionate was interesting. Is that just guy stuff or us stuff?? I coulda wrote the same list! That adds a cool dimension to you. Kinda gives me some insight as to why I like the stuff you share I guess.

    Anyhoo! Beyond your inner search to find the answers and revelations about deadening yourself, the comment about beating yourself up hit me hard.

    Like you, I spent years beating the hell out of me. I can beat the crap out of me better than anyone. I became a pro! Somehow my twisted logic thought it was good for me, held me accountable and made me a better person.

    Know what I learned tho? It does the exact opposite.

    Our self image is far more important than we realized. I dont think most people realize the harm and abuse we put ourselves through. Out self talk is the source of so many of our problems, and yet I don't think many grasp that.

    What we think is right, is wrong.

    Years ago I had the chance to attend a seminar that took me through some interesting lessons. The one that really stood out to me included a session where we visualized some scenarios. While I can't even begin to describe it with the same level of impact it had on me, I will give you the basics.

    Imagine you as a little person, maybe 3-4 years old. Look back and see the image of you as this cute little innocent kid. No worries, no fears, no baggage, no epic failures. Just this happy little person that's filled with hope and joy.

    Now pick that little you up and hold him close and re-live all the self induced BS you have put him through. Think about all the mean things you have said and how hurtful they were, how mean, how horrible and how undeserved.

    When you look at yourself like that and compare you to another child, especially your own, why are we conditioned to think that kind of abuse is right?

    I dunno.. but we do. We do things and say things to ourselves that would be unimaginable to say to anyone else.

    And the worst part about it all is that we believe it. We listen to us, we listen to that constant stream of verbal abuse over and over and over..

    Anyhoo.. whats my point? I guess it's that we need to stop!

    Beating ourselves up and looking back on our screw-ups is paralyzing and self destructive.

    I know we need to be accountable for our actions, but there is a limit.

    This is something I have become very conscious of and I try to break the cycle anytime I feel another self inflicted lashing coming on.

    Too bad I am only now figuring this out so late in life.

    Be kind to you Danny.

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  3. I really appreciate the comments you guys made.

    Yep, it's definitely not productive, and definitely I am making a larger deal out of it than is necessary....but hey, here we are! haha

    And yeah, it's very serious to not be like that. As you guys sure seem aware of, it isn't easy.

    @ Ray, you should audition. I put off auditioning for the band for a good two months....it was unnecessary. You know how easy going Jeff is, it's so low pressure that you'll wonder why you put it off after you did it. And if it turns out you're rusty or something it could give you a goal to shoot for. Or something ;)

    @ Chris, We're always the best at destroying ourselves, I think as well. Whether through gratuitous self criticism or other means. Totally with you on that. I greatly appreciate the empathy and example.

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  4. Thank you Danny.. =)

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  5. I'm gonna file this under, "No crap?"

    Finish your degree and get your butt to seminary.

    Post haste.

    You'd be a brilliant pastor in any capacity I can think of.

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  6. Ray Kelejian4:23 PM

    Thanks for the encouragement Danny..Fact is, I practice 2-3 hours a day....So its mostly my own thoughts keeping me from the audition..My goal is bu summer's end to call jeff...

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  7. Kurt, how 'bout I file YOU under "no crap?" Huh, how 'bout that one?!!

    Possibly...

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  8. Hey Danny, thanks for 'following' my blog! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

    And I hope you soon find yourself in a place where you can do what you're passionate about. I'm still working on that. Blogging has become one of them. But a good deal of my day is not things I love.

    See you around. God bless and happy blogging!

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  9. I'm so proud of you for sharing this Danny. :)

    And I still see you in full-time ministry. I may be wrong, but it just seems to fit you. But it warms my heart to read about you feeling alive again.

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