passion is the first in an occasional series of wonderings about the nature of the human spirit. Just because. met a bloke this week, and it took all of two minutes to detect the fire that burned within him.  Here was a man whose passion was so intense that he was almost moved to tears as he spoke of what mattered to him most, and his commitment was so inspiring that I was not far behind him.

Maybe it was because it was an unexpected conversation, maybe because it was in a context where fierce, burning passion was in short supply, but it took me by surprise

That kind of passion is inspiring, and it sure inspired me. I left the conversation determined to do better, to be better, and to find the capacity within myself for that kind of commitment, that kind of single-minded determination.

I had a taste of it somewhere else this week too. I took our 9 y/old down to what we had been told was the local junior soccer club, playing in a laid back competition. Mitch is keen, but he’s only a second year soccer player, and he’s got a lot to learn about the game. We are keen for him to play, to have fun, to learn the kind of teamwork that sports can teach us, to get out in the rough and tumble of it….for all those sorts of reasons.  We were looking for a place for him to play, learn, have fun, make new mates in what is still to our family a strange new city.

To my surprise what I found was a full-on junior soccer academy, a bunch of kids from a young age being trained to be elite soccer players.  I got my first glimpse when one of the boys – a nine year old – led the squad through an intensive and technical ten minute stretching session with the coach elsewhere setting up the afternoons drills.  And it didn’t let up, 90 minutes of full-on training, the second such session of the week for the squad of under tens.  One of the dads told me the coach expects the boys to train at home doing drills for a minimum of twenty minutes each day.

For Mitch it was all a bit too much, and we’ll look for a better fit elsewhere, but what was undeniable was the passion of the coach, and of every one of the boys.  They were into everything, playing hard, training hard, fully committed to what was going on. I got the sense that there was no pushy parent syndrome here, just a bunch of boys who absolutely love their game and want to be great at it.

Once again I walked away inspired by the passion on show, and wondering just where such commitment is to be found in my own life, my own work, my own world. Where is it in yours?

Later in the week I was reading a bed time bible story to the five year old of the house, hearing about Jesus calling the first rag-tag bunch of disciples to follow him. Fishermen and tax-collectors.  Just a few years later they would burn with such passion that in spite of (because of?) their beloved leader’s death they would go to without question change the world, the very course of human history.

That same passion is what I saw and heard in the bloke whose conversation started my week long reflection on passion. The challenge now is to find it in my own journey.

Passion changes the world. Changes everything.


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