Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Tea

This week my ponderings turned toward the subject of... passion... that God-given passion which burns within us... that which becomes what we were meant to do with our life.

My mind was on passion already, this being "Passion Week" and all... we know what the passion of the Messiah was... the redemption of the human race. How amazing is the thought that God would enter the world as His own creation to be the sacrificial Lamb. I often think of one of my favorite children's books at this time of year... The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. You know, that scene where Aslan comes back to life and informs us about the "Deeper magic before the dawn of time".

I don't have a problem with Easter baskets, bunnies, coloring eggs, new clothes, and other traditions some would call "pagan". Way back in centuries past they certainly did belong to such roots. However, in my home they were just extra curricular activities that caused smiles and giggles. For we were all aware of the Deeper Magic... Narnia magic... Christ breaking free from Death and taking back the Keys to the Kingdom. Now that is PASSION!

My thoughts were also on the subject of one's life passion this week. Those things that cause our heart to flutter just a wee bit more, that which brings a smile to our face, the "work" which may be extremely difficult but so rewarding because of our love for it.

The first conversation regarding "passion" was with my son over lunch this week. He has been struggling with life choices regarding University and career, not to mention deep questions about Theology and the Church. We both knew we needed time for a chat so he suggested buying me lunch at our favorite cafeteria. The place that has been a family favorite since I was quite young. It serves comfort food cafeteria style but the surroundings remind me of the most elegant hotel restaurant.

As we were talking, he was wondering if he would stick with the path he has chosen once he enters the University. It would mean a possible five year commitment to a double major and a demanding course of study. He also wasn't getting a lot of support from Christian friends since one of those majors included Environmental Science. I obviously had covered this conversation with prayer before hand, asking God for wisdom. What came to my mind was the idea of God-given passion.

I had him think of the guitar in his room, the one he hasn't picked up much since he received it for Christmas years ago. He keeps it because he knows he is going to take lessons... someday. I reminded him about his friend, John. That he would have it mastered by now and would have a notebook full of songs he had written. John decided not to attend college and he currently plays his music on small stages and in coffeehouses throughout the Midwest. John has a passion for music.

Christopher has a passion for the environment, for architecture, for design, and for technology and computers (although he says he doesn't want to make a living with computers alone). He watches shows like The History of Cement. He's the only kid I personally know (he has many friends online who have done the same thing) that used allowance money to purchase a huge book to teach himself C++ in his Jr. High years. (He also loves history and literature but not so much as a profession.)

When it came down to a decision, I told him to follow his passion... that which will provide a lifetime of interest. We're still not certain if this is the path that will be the best. It's a long and expensive commitment... five years of college (on top of the credits which will transfer from finishing his high school years at the community college). However, we will take it one step at a time.

The other conversation I had this week which made me think of passion for one's calling... a phone call from my daughter while she was in the van travelling to set up the surprise baby shower for her best friend. (This is her best friend's sixth baby and -- I think -- fifth son, as I told Stephanie... that woman needs a party!)

I answerd my cell phone and heard these words, "Decorating is better than drugs!". I asked her to repeat what she said and yes, I did hear it correctly. (Her brother told me later to ask her how she knows, hehehe.) I knew she had been spending a lot of time and energy preparing for this day but rather than cause her to become tired, she was very energized.

This is what she loves to do. It was that passion that caused her to stay four years with an extremely demanding Interior Design curriculum at the University (it is one of the curricula which feeds into a Master's of Architecture at one of the other colleges in the State). I haven't called back to see how the party went but it had to be wonderful. At least it looked great and she was taking with her Sheila's cake so the food would be good. :)

I know she also has a passion for homemaking, being a good wife and mommy, as well as a love of literature. But this weekend it was that passion for "decorating" that brought a smile to her face... and by using that passion, she was able to provide a background which brought joy to others.

I've mentioned before the small three-shelf bookcase in my bedroom. It holds a mixture of my favorite books, many being titles about decorating, homemaking, and tea time. Other shelves in my home would show my passions past and present... history, gardening, classic literature, biography, homeschooling, and conservative politics... which was a huge passion at one time but one which I've turned the baton over to others with more... energy!

It was former first lady Lady Bird Johnson who often remarked that one should, "Do that which makes their heart sing". I agree... for sometimes it is the process of finding that passion that draws us closer to Him who plants the seed in our heart.

Now, I am off to brew some tea... curl up on the sofa with a throw over me... and follow my passions.... tea, a good book, my "fluffy" Sasha kitty, and paper to plan this week's To Do list. :)


Karen Deborah said...

Your cup spilled over today. We share our homeschooled teens going off to college soon. Thank you for encouraging your son to follow his heart. I believe that God gives us the desires of our heart. Why shouldn't a born again Christian be an environmental studies student? What a tremendous mission field. There are many who worship the creation instead of the creator. Your son knows the truth. My question to him would be if he could be so overwhelmingly outnumbered. Martin Luther said, "One plus God is a majority". We are commanded to care for this world, and we have abused it with our greed. It's an issue of stewardship. I have a friend, "Musings from Graceland", whose husband is an enviornmental engineer. Check out her blog and see if her husband can be of any assistance to your son in making his decision. As for changing your mind, we always have that option. The first couple of years of school are used up completing prerequisites, that's what I told my girls. Isn't it grand to have raised a fine young son who is about to make his place in the world? I really enjoy your writing I feel like I know you already.

Quinne said...

Hi Brenda :) I wanted to pop in and send an encouraging word to your son. I am also a science person - and loved every minute of my studies.

Some of the most amazing Christians I have ever met were scientisis by profession and loved the Father with all their hearts! Several of my professors told me that studying science affirmed their faith - it just blew their minds what God could do :) Their testimonies were beautiful.

Be sure that the Father is leading, and go! Go! Go!

Love to you! Q

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Love those heart to heart talks with our grown, or nearly so, children!!!

Dawn Hay Designs said...

Praise God you have an amazing ministry and have so blessed me. I have a passion first for God then for family then for quilting/sewing. Thankyou for sharing and encouraging me to realize it is a God given passion/talent to sew. Your son will make the right decision for his life because God has His hand on him, He is guiding him and walking with him every step of the way. Bless you heaps Dawn x x x

Heather L. said...

Just wanted to say how exciting it is to hear of Christians being interested in environmental issues! We need Christians in that field! We need people who understand that we are to care for and cultivate the earth, while at the same time not making a "god" out of the earth. I hope that if God leads him this direction, Christopher will find much fulfillment in it.

Sandra said...

This is such a wonderful post, Brenda, I really enjoyed it.

I strongly believe we need scientist who are Christians and your son needs to be encouraged to follow his heart and passion. I agree with the others who say we, as Christians, should be stewards of this earth. I think it's great your son is interested in the environment. Tell him I said, Go for it! :o)

I also loved what you wrote about homemaking being a passion. I've never though of it like that before...thank you. Following one's passion can be lonely sometimes but if that's what God has layed on your heart, what else are we to do? We'll never regret following God's plan for your lives.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Your son received good advice...very good. I know that you'll keep us informed of what he decides to do. One step at a time, one step at a time...