Passion is an essential ingredient for impacting our world. It does alter our emotions as we stay focused on the issue that grabs our hearts. There’s one problem that erodes the passion of our hearts.
It’s passion without a plan. Let me explain. How many of you have set up New Year’s resolutions over the course of your life? I am afraid to look back on all the decades of my life and the resolutions I wanted to implement in my life at the start of the new year. I would have all the best intentions to hold the line in meeting my resolution, but my resolution would invariably begin to crumble over the weeks because of a lack of a plan.
Someone once said, “A goal without a plan without an action equals a dream. A goal with a plan with action equals reality. We can be the most passionate person about reaching the goal, but if we don’t have a plan or take action on that goal, we will only experience a dream and regret our not fulfilling the passion that comes our way. I have a passion for helping marriages and families, but I needed the education and training that would provide me an opportunity to counsel couples and parents who were seeking to resolve the issues that created disconnection in their relationships. It took many years (almost 25+ years after graduating from high school), but at 45 I had finished my last doctorate and opened the door to creating a private practice of marital and parental therapy.
Nehemiah was a man who had passion for his people who were enslaved and had experienced hopelessness in trying to become free. Not only did he have passion for saving his people, but he had a plan when the opportunity was given him to help his people. “The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time. I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.” Nehemiah 2:4-8 NIV
Nehemiah knew how long the mission would take, but also had calculated the material that would be needed to rebuild Jerusalem. He knew that he needed security guards that would get him to his destination safely. He had a plan.
On this journey, passion will come into our lives as we feel emotion for those less fortunate. Make sure that passion is not the only focus of your eye gaze, but that you plan for how your desire will be realized.