Summer Setting’s Eighth Anniversary: Submitting our Passions to God

04.08.16 Mt. Rainier 03.25.16Today marks the eighth anniversary of Summer Setting, and I’ve been thinking about how much I enjoy photo journalism. Actually, I love it with a passion. It’s “work” so satisfying that I look forward to it. It’s therapeutic; it energizes me; it makes me feel happy! Reminds me of my son Michael, who got totally splattered with fresh concrete once while helping build a house down in Mexico. Instead of expressing dismay (which was my reaction), he just grinned: “I never knew this mission trip was going to be so much fun!” What can I say? When you feel really passionate about what you’re doing, what’s a little mud on your face?

Is there deep passion in your life? Have you stopped to consider the difference between a passion and an addiction? I think it’s similar to what makes love and lust different. Lust and addictions control us in a negative way; we withdraw from everything else in life to pursue our “drug” of choice until all the life has been strangled out of us and we are left feeling empty, hungry and desperate for a more that’s never satisfied. Love and passion propel us toward good, energizing us to reach out and work until we eventually overcome all obstacles to win the prize…but a prize that makes us feel fulfilled, satisfied, and at peace.

What’s the deepest passion of your life? Can you identify it? I believe any passion—even a good one—can become an addiction—an “idol”—if we allow it to overwhelm the balance of our life until we feel controlled by anything other than God. Ever feel that happening…like life is out of control? God does allow us to be maximally stretched at times so that we learn “his grace is sufficient,” but there are other times when we’re overwhelmed because we’ve made bad choices or stopped listening to God. Sometimes we just have to gut it out until the trial passes, but other times we may need to change courses midstream.

In reflecting on my passion to write Summer Setting, it occurs to me that I’ve gotten a bit over my head…so busy that exercise, diet, and housecleaning are suffering. So, I’m asking the Lord, “How now, dear Father?” God deserves our worship and obedience because he is God Almighty. Seeking his wisdom is also in our own best interest, because God loves us more than we love ourselves, and He alone knows exactly what we need. God is the great Balancer. If we’re walking in the Spirit, He’ll tell us when to work and when to rest, when to say “Sure!” and when to say, “I’m sorry, but I can’t.”

Looking back over past anniversary posts of Summer Setting, it’s exciting to realize that in the last two years the number of views and followers have both almost doubled. That’s very motivating, and the steady growth makes me want to work even harder at writing. However, today I commit this passion to God, asking Him to direct my steps, and I hope you’ll do the same with your passions. May we always keep our hands open to God, allowing him to lead us, for his glory and our good.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible”  (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

2 responses to “Summer Setting’s Eighth Anniversary: Submitting our Passions to God

  1. Charylene Powers

    May God bless your ministry that is so powerful in so many ways. I can really appreciate your comments on sorting out our passions and achieving balance in our lives. My daily prayer is that the rhythm of my life (day/week) is pleasing to God – for God to show me the “stubble & hay” I need to remove and that I recognize God’s agenda for that day and yield to his plan and not cling to my own agenda that of course I usually think has great merit.

    • Love this, Charylene! Amen. Me too. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking “my own agenda” has great merit. Makes me laugh because it’s so true and ridiculous at the same time! Love you!

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