Each stage of life brings with it certain potentials and problems. This is particularly true in the area of our passions.
Passion is not a bad thing in and of itself. Jesus said that the zeal of His Father's house consumed Him. We should so seek to be consumed! Passion is the fuel to achieve, to excel, to make an impact. That is its power.
Now as to its pitfalls, each stage of adulthood brings a particular peril to the believer in this area:
- Young adults face the peril of unfocused passion. It is passion run amok. There is no lack of zeal. The world is a great smorgasbord to indulge the senses. The challenge is to bring that passion into focus--to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness--and then find all other things fall into their proper orbit within a Christo-centric universe.
- Median adults face the peril of divided passion. Christians at this stage have tasted of heavenly things and have learned what their proper focus should be, yet they often find themselves also pursuing material things. They end up like "Mr. Looking Both Ways" in Pilgrim's Progress. Their passions are thus divided and in the end diffused.
- Senior adults face the peril of lost passion. Apathy sets in. They have neither excelled in the world, or if they have, they have found it wholly unsatisfying. Like Solomon in Ecclesiastes, they decree, "All is vanity--a chasing of the wind." They have not excelled in the things of God, and wonder at what they have missed of the purpose for which they truly were created. Since it seems too late to pursue those things, it becomes more comfortable to just not ponder them. Passion becomes a mere glowing ember that soon dies altogether.
If we do not properly harness our passion, maintain its focus on the things above and run relentlessly to the finish line, we will pass off the scene as though we virtually had never been. Our footsteps will be like those left on the beach, as the tides of time wash in and obliterate them. Should we embrace a passion for God and His glory, our footprints will be set in concrete, marking a path for future generations to follow. May God help us do so.