And so, I am forced to reflect once again: how did this Lent go? I was moderately successful at keeping my Lenten promises: only indulging in my sworn off cheese a couple of times on the designated feast days and maybe a Sunday or two. And the time that I did take for my Lenten prayer, the prayer was very beneficial. Notice that I said for the time I did take...oops.
I love Holy Week, though. And I love the Easter Season. I love the drama and the joy that this week and season bring. And even if we haven't been as successful as we would've liked with our Lenten commitments, there is still time! This week is perhaps the most important of them all: a week to truly remember the Sacrifice that was made with our own sacrifices of time, fasting, and prayer.
You may remember that I was encouraged this Lent to look at my own Salvation History. I got caught up in the covenants that the Lord as made with me. He has provided and kept promises and provided salvation in so many ways, so many times.
But now we are approaching the crux of Salvation History: Holy Week and The Passion. In praying about this, I was forced to think of my own passions. And not necessarily my own sufferings or "deaths", though that would also be a good thing to meditate on this week,
When I looked up the word "passion", two definitions popped up. One is the definition that I teach to my students: "the suffering and death of Jesus." The other is the one that most of society is familiar with: "strong and barely controllable emotion."
How different these definitions are. Christ's suffering and death required an immense amount of discipline and self control and then ultimately a dying (literally) to self. It was selfless. The latter definition seems the opposite. It seems indulgent and promoting a lack of self control.
For me, passion is a deep fervor and drive. It is a something that you foster and it moves you. And so as we move forward towards the Passion, I think of Christ's inner drive that moved Him to die for each one of us and I think of what drives me.
And what does drive me these days? What am I passionate about? What do I receive life from? Because I believe that ultimately our passions are life giving, just like Christ's.
Again, in researching the many concepts and definitions of "passion" I found this article that made some interesting points, but not all that I necessarily agree with. The article asserts that our passion comes from our successes. And to an extent, I can agree with that. We find our passion for something when we realize that we are good at something....sometimes. But I have many friends that are passionate about music, who aren't necessarily musical themselves. And we all know that I have a passion for art, when my art is amateur at best.
I did, however, like the image and title that article used about passion being like a mystical unicorn:
For many, our passions come from our relationships. Our families. For me, my passion does come from my relationship with God. I have a passion for sharing my faith (obvi ;). And I do have a passion for some of the things I consider myself good at: music, teaching, writing...wine :) And then I have some things that I am passionate about that I'm not necessarily good at: art, staying active, being compassionate to others ;)
As we approach Holy Week, I'm going to try and persevere in holding onto the present moment, taking in each day as I can. And I will try to get caught up in Christ's Passion (and passion) for us as well as discern my own driving forces and passions.