My grandson Micah Nathan is obsessed with wheels. I remember our 4 boys feeling the same way, flattening themselves to the floor to get a road’s eye view of tiny toy wheels. Maybe it’s in boy-DNA.
Micah has strong opinions about each miniature vehicle at my house, even at only 22 months. His favorite is a tiny bike-like motorcycle, followed by a plastic dump truck. He assigns different cars to different people. “This is Mommy’s car. This is Daddy’s.”
But yesterday we saw that even a toddler can take things too far. Linni and I were chatting when Micah approached with a tiny wheel in his pudgy hand, which must have come off one of the small cars. With his limited language he tried to share his thoughts, but before we could figure them out, he popped the wheel into his mouth, gave a few chews, and swallowed it.
Wheels are Micah’s passion.
All of us are passionate about something and are usually willing to sacrifice something else to pursue it. For example, I’d rather write than sleep or eat. Someone else might be passionate about music or cooking or reading or any other worthwhile pursuit. It’s all based on what bents and abilities we have and on the way God wires us.
But in thinking about our passions, we might ask ourselves several questions:
- How far am I willing to go for the sake of my passion?
- Is every passion worth pursuing?
- What if my passion isn’t positive?
Scripture makes reference to passions gone wrong, describing them as the “passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature.” God wasn’t the one who wired those into us; we have to take the blame ourselves.
So what are the passions of a sinful nature? Name any sin, and that’s what it is. Whatever sins we can’t route out of our lives are passions gone wrong. God instructs us to “nail them to his cross.” In other words, we’re to exercise control through Christ’s power as our Savior. He offers that, but it’s up to us to take advantage.
We might say, “But there’s nothing wrong with my passion for [fill-in-the-blank].” God says unless all of our passions are pulled out from under our control and put under his, they’re on the wrong side of the passion-ledger. Since he knows we’re all pretty good at taking things to extremes, even good things, he promises to help us with passion-control by providing his grace and strength as needed to get the job done. When we ask, he gives it.
Meanwhile, Linnea and I are having trouble finding Micah’s favorite motorcycle. Maybe we should start watching his diapers.
”Because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” (2 Peter 1:4)