Sunday, September 4, 2011
The Difference Passion Makes
Here is a book I have enjoyed reading as the girls have taken to the pitch this fall: Soccer and Philosophy: Beautiful Thoughts on the Beautiful Game. It is a book with all kinds of insights on the game of soccer and its relation to philosophy. One chapter in particular speaks to the importance that passion makes when it comes to playing this game. The author, A. Minh Nguyen of Eastern Kentucky University, contends that what makes a team great is not luck or talent per se, or chemistry or discipline per se, or team chemistry or coaching per se. Rather, what makes a team great is passion: that special power of the heart that enables teams to stand the heat and show the world what truly matters (p. 265). It is passion that animates the will and arouses the feeling of intensity to succeed. As Nguyen goes on to suggest, it is passion that made the difference in helping the FC Barcelona Team of 2009 take such great trides and become one of the great club teams in European history.
I can't help but notice some parallels here with ministry and mission. We speak of "passionate worship," of course, and the importance of passion for discipleship. Passion is what can make the difference between good and great, and it can provide the kind of heart it takes for making the difference Christ calls us to make. Without a sense of passion we can too easily lose sight of what truly matters, of what truly is important. The question is, How can we demonstrate passion and become the kind of servants Christ calls us to be? How can we go from good to great with passion?