Of course, as it is with so many things, our gifts are a blessing and a curse. We praise you, oh God, when our passions are directed in a way that is beneficial and full of purpose to your glory, but when these are in foul circumstances, their ability to produce iniquity produces a darkness that is as intense as the light given when good is the end.
I glory in my intense passion for great things. But I sink when I call these things “obsessions.” I have a passion for you. But obsession often rules my day. My gift is my curse. My curse is my gift.
When I have a passion for my marriage, I see this as a good thing. And so I conduct my family affairs according to this passion. With instructions to my children, wife, and myself, a revival takes place for a time. However, this passion does not know patience. Eventually the passion turns others sour.
Remember when I first started following you? I read through the entirety of your Scriptures in just a few months. I could not read enough. I took up and read all of the great saints’ works I could get my hands on. I loved you with a fire so great and am thankful that this fire has yet to turn to ash. Yet in my passion, I pushed many away. I required the same thoughts and feelings in them as I was experiencing at that moment. “Who are they?” I thought to myself. “Why won’t they follow in my passions? Why are they running away?” I began to pride myself in my passions to such a degree that I even thought they were unspiritual and persecutors of the faith. Why didn’t they take up the exact same flag that I was bearing?
I have pushed many away in my passions. Often, I can push you away. When I lay depressed in bed, when I drive down the road in darkness, when I suffer confusion, my obsessions kick in. I cannot get my troubles out of my mind. And it is not so much that I want to sink deeper into them, but I want a solution to present itself. If I think hard enough, figure out where I went wrong, or say this prayer and make this confession, then I will have figured it out. But the solutions are always short-lived. In excitement I have exclaimed many times to you, “Oh, so that is what you wanted to teach me. I have learned that lesson now. The problem is solved so my life should soon return to normal.” When the victory is shown to be a mirage, I return to my obsession of solving things.
When my passions turn into obsessions, I sink further into my pain.
But you know, oh Lord, that I would not trade this in. For when you set me on a course, I love the course. Though I can make those closest to me hate this same course, you have shown me how to balance the extent of my passions so as to let you work in your own way with others. I shall keep these passions, for they are dear to my heart. Don’t ever let me lose them. I have delighted myself in you and you are giving me the desires of my heart. Let not my obsessions turn these desires and make them stagnant and bitter. I shall do all that I do with all these hopes and dreams that will not contain themselves. I shall pursue you without always having to have the people I want follow in the way I want them to follow. I shall exercise these passions and then release them to you. Worry is not a right which my passion has been given, yet it desires much to go there.