I am getting a first hand reminder how much passion and energy are connected. I am on day 25 of the sinus crud. I have been to the doctor twice. I have done the round of antibiotics. And still I keep blowing and coughing. Now in the scheme of things, I realize this is not really such a big deal. People being killed at a marathon and a fertilizer plant explosion, that is newsworthy and truly tragic. At some point, this sinus crud will be done…and my prayer is tomorrow would be good! But in the meantime, what I am noticing is how little energy I have, and how that affects everything in my life.
Before this sinus crud hit, I had started training to run a 10K. Ok, I am not passionate about running, but it is a goal I had set for myself, and something I would like to accomplish. But getting to the gym has been a real chore. It is hard to run when you can’t breathe. Sleep or exercise? No energy? No brainer. Sleep.
Some say passion is the fuel that allows us to do great things. But what I am learning this month, passion is really the kindling, or the starter…you do need something to get the fire going…but the fire needs oxygen, energy for it to have life, to burn, to create warmth and heat. Passion and energy go hand in hand.
So why does this matter? Well, much of my work is about cultivating passion in congregations about reaching new people, about sharing the gospel, about being the church God has called them to be. Frankly, it is a challenge. But after my sojourn this month, I am beginning to wonder if the issue is not so much about passion: we do care and do desire to see God’s Spirit move in and through our congregation; but rather is the issue lack of energy? Is just getting through the day and managing what has to be done taking all our energy? You can’t run when you can’t breathe!
If that indeed might be the case, then how do we renew our energy? I have been forced to consider my limits this month. To take a sick day. To not get by on my usual 6 hours of sleep during the work week. To pace myself. And mostly, to heal so that I can run again. And to trust, this malaise I am feeling is at the heart not about a lack of passion, but about needing to restore my energy. Both are essential to fueling my life.