A friend told me the other day about a high school dance. Her friend’s son had attended the dance with a fellow senior, and that moment happened. You know the one . . . a slow song came on, the two came together, and the boy was forced to, you know, actually talk to his date. Remember those days? The clamminess, the not-knowing a lick about dancing, and then being eye-to-eye with someone who is making your heart do jumping-jacks? I get uncomfortable and sweaty just thinking about it. And in this scenario, the damsel raised the stakes.
“Why did you ask me to the dance?” she asked sweetly, eyes surely batting.
“Um, well, you were the prettiest girl in the school . . .”
I ended that sentence with an ellipsis because his answer didn’t stop there. Had it stopped there, perhaps the embrace would have grown tighter—who knows, a swoon and a kiss may have even been in the realm of possibilities? But no, his answer went on . . .
“Um, well, you were the prettiest girl in the school . . . that didn’t already have a date.”
Abort. Abort. ABORT!
Obviously, he knew before he had even finished—this was not the correct answer.
We love passion. It is the stuff of our heroes and the lynch-pin in every true love story. It is Romeo, fair Romeo, sneaking into Juliet’s backyard; it is Mel Gibson’s William Wallace rallying the clans.
So when passion is lacking, like it was in that 17 year-old’s answers, we know it. We can feel it, and so can those around us.
The Bible calls followers of Christ to imitate Him. And that means all sorts of things—caring for others, wanting best for people, leaning in with humility. And it also means passion. Christ passionately pursued his mission, even to the Cross. He sacrificed worldly fame, power, position. He had no place to lay his head, because He put his mission before comfort. He was aflame with passionate purpose, and so we should be too. About the right things. About His things.
If my eulogy holds nothing less in it, may it hold passion. Passion for my wife, for my family, for my friends. Passion for Christ. And not because He was the prettiest option left, but the cool, cold water to my soul’s thirst.