playing with passion

In a speech titled, “Words Matter,” Barack Obama said, “Don’t tell me words don’t matter. I have a dream – just words. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal – just words. We have nothing to fear but fear itself – just words, just speeches. It’s true that speeches don’t solve all problems, but what is also true is that if we can’t inspire our country to believe again, then it doesn’t matter how many policies and plans we have…”

There are two definitions of the word passion: the first definition states: a strong and barely controllable emotion. The second one states: the suffering and death of Jesus.

It is intriguing to note what things people are passionate about. For example, some people are passionate about politics. Other people are passionate about comic book movies. Still others are passionate about sports. I don’t think Jesus was passionate about suffering and dying. However, how interesting is it that the dictionary folks fold the word passion into the actual act of suffering by Jesus. He was not passionate, or looking forward to, physical and mental torture. But I would like to think that he was passionate about his purpose, which involved a lot of tough decisions, soul-searching and hard work.

When words intersect with action is where we as humans can relate to “playing with passion.” Jesus lived out his life in a steady stream of passion; not irreverent passion, like our carnal minds may wander to. A passion that embraces all of the unfairness, unjustness and unlawfulness in order to get to the prize that awaits us at the end of the journey.

When we watch the Olympic sprinters cross the finish line, we have no idea how many of those races they  have run and lost in practice. We have no insight to the extreme diets they subject themselves to over the course of a year. We have not witnessed all of the physical “suffering” they put themselves through in order to win a race that lasts less than one minute.

For what’s it’s worth, words matter. Words are what get us up in the morning. Words are what prepare us to win the race.

Play with passion.


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