Sunday, August 17, 2014
Today I sat in church and quasi-listened to the sermon. Mind you, my lack of engagement was not due to a lack of interest on my part or a lack of interesting things to say on the part of the pastor. What kept me from involvement in anything related to Jesus was my neighbor in the row behind me and her uncontrolled child, whom I will refer to as Jeremiah in order to keep this somewhat Biblical. Jeremiah is a toddler I think, but these days who can tell. In Silicon Valley everyone looks like they’re twelve and everyone is tiny, y’all; tee-niney, as my grandmother would say. However, based on his vocabulary, I’d posit a guess of two; three at the outside.
Now I don’t know much about Jeremiah other than he is passionate about trucks and his mother could use some parenting tips, including directions to the nursery, so I won’t take the following notes in my sermon journal, “Give TRUCKS! everything you TRUCKS! have to TRUCKS! God for a TRUCKS! life.” I’ve heard of a hard sell before, but I feel pretty sure the FORD/CHEVY/DODGE people haven’t started invoking Jesus to close a sale…yet.
My favorite reading genre is non-fiction. I usually try to mix in a work of fiction every third book or so but I have been focusing on several works of non-fiction these last few weeks. I just finished with “Things a Little Bird Told Me” by Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter; “The God-First Life” by Stovall Weems and a Reader’s Digest article by Malcolm Gladwell titled “The Late Bloomer Phenomenon”. The interesting thing about all three of these is there is a component telling (me) to find what I am truly passionate about. And I wondered just what that would be. I also had to admire God for putting all those things in my face. He's met me before and knows that I am sometimes slow to take a hint.
I watched the film, “The Hundred Foot Walk” yesterday and was struck by the main character, Hassan’s love for food and cooking. His passion was demonstrated by the look of rapture on his face with the closing of the eyes and the savoring of each bite, every time he ate something new. This delirium was first evidenced when he ate sea urchin and that made me suspect his taste buds because that is one of the five things that I refuse to eat. It is disgusting and so is liver, cottage cheese, oatmeal and flan. And the name doesn’t help. Sea urchin sounds like an extra from Oliver Twist if it had taken place on a boat.
I tried sea urchin for the first time at one of those foo-foo eateries where you have nine courses of tiny things and you swear you’ll never get full but you end up stuffed and feeling about six kinds of fancy and twelve kinds of broke. And I love to be all pretentious and what not, but even that has its limits. Needless to say, sea urchin was tried...and found guilty. Como se dice, “nasty”?
As my movie companion, Lisa Ann and I discussed on the way home, I tried to pinpoint a moment in my life that I had been as rapturous as Hassan was when he tasted béchamel sauce for the first time. I was thrilled when I received Electronic Battleship for Christmas in 6th grade and there is a photo of me looking every bit the Cub Scout earning his Happy Badge, but I didn’t have to play it every day. I enjoyed playing the trumpet and did so for 10 years but I stopped playing in 1990 and haven't touched it or missed it since. I love to sing but when I had to drop out of choir due to work, it didn't crush me. And I know you shouldn't compare yourself to others but I’ve read stories and heard people who say, “I yearn to write”, “I have to play the piano”, and “I must create”.
I love my career, but if I had to stop tomorrow I think I would be able to soldier on. I get excited about finding a bargain while shopping but it doesn’t get me out of bed in the morning. I tried to think of anything that I am passionate about, that I must do; something that I willingly place in my schedule every day. Unlike Jeremiah, I am not passionate enough about TRUCKS! something to yell it TRUCKS! out in public without shame or even awareness TRUCKS! I would love to be all holy and say that I am passionate about God but knows the truth. I love Him very much but am more than a little ashamed to say that I am not passionate about worshipping him every day. I read my Bible daily and listen to KLOVE religiously but I will flat out forget what I’ve learned as soon as somebody cuts me off in traffic or gets on my nerves at work or any number of other petty nuisances that shouldn’t cause me irritation or worry, but do.
And it bothered me that I don’t have a passion for something. I enjoy writing but those readers who are waiting patiently for a sequel to A Gone Pecan can tell you that it is not something I do on a consistent-enough basis to have actually finished it. I blog fairly regularly but have gone weeks without posting something and haven’t found myself needing to express a thought or opinion. This caused the very dramatic question, “Am I dead on the inside?”
Now that we’ve both rolled our eyes, I can tell you that I have decided to really pay attention to where I place my focus and energies over the next few weeks to see if I can identify what really makes me tick. And I would love it if you would share what you’re passionate about and, those of you who know me, what you think I’m passionate about or suggest ways I can figure it out.
And that’s all I’m saying for now, except TRUCKS!