By Betty Slade
In our writers’ group, I challenged the writers with words from David, the psalmist: “Have you ever felt your heart on fire, boiling over with passion? Building up within you with beautiful lyrics as a lovely poem to be sung for the King? Like a river bursting its banks, are you overflowing with words, spilling out into your sacred story?” — (Psalm 45:1, TPT).
I’m certain the group I was speaking to thought I was having another one of my moments, but I continued. “Have you ever been so passionate about something that you felt like you needed to share it with the world?”
I waited for a response to no avail. Could it be that I was speaking to writers who didn’t feel a passion toward their talent? Perhaps they didn’t know their words were golden to the heart of someone who needed to hear them. Words so sacred they engage others.
Years ago, a man from a church we attended rebuked me. “You’re too zealous. You are a threat to the leadership. Take it down a notch or two.”
I wondered how anyone could be too zealous, especially in church? Apparently, someone thought so. For me, the words of the Gospel became a sacred story. The zeal of others who told their stories bubbled up from inside them.
Flash forward. The passion I have for writing and sharing the written word is similar to the passion I have as a painter. There is a story to be told or a picture to behold.
Challenge comes, however, when thirst for the share becomes laborious. When interest is lost because the task of delivery becomes more burdensome than the joy of fulfillment.
I saw that years ago when I taught painting. Many would come to class, curious about what they could produce, but stop far short of simmering over, let alone boiling.
They would buy the best supplies on the market then push expensive paint across a palette with a Kolinsky sable brush — prepared to be a da Vinci, with a paint-by-number desire.
Learning how to paint can be hard for some. But, when something becomes too hard, too complicated or you just can’t appreciate luscious rich color, it is undoubtedly because your heart isn’t in it.
As someone who has taken on many projects, I can assure you that passion has less to do with effort and more to do with a strength that develops on the inside that can’t wait to be released. It’s in our DNA.
It’s very similar to a spiritual call. Holding a title, a position or even a seminary degree is likened to a name tag. It may denote who you are, but has little to do with what you can produce. Like a God-given gift, there is a call that is answered that has a way of propelling us beyond our own abilities if it is from a true place of desire.
We have to take our offering to the next level, living gifts and talents outrageously and generously.
Final brushstroke: Today, I challenged writers to write the words that burn in their hearts, to give without reservation. Not because I want to hear a good story, but because I want to experience what only they can share, to feel the heat of passion that comes from the depth of a soul. If you’re not ready to do that, know that the world is missing out on knowing who you are at your core.
Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN.