He walks into a dingy bar and plops down to order his regular.
He starts by saying, "I'll have my usu..." when the owner interrupts him mid sentence and says, "You have never been here before"
"I'm sor sor so sorry he stutters along, it has been a very long day"
"Tell me more, but before you do, let's get you a drink. What are you having?"
"You probably don't want to make my usual. My friend in Japan taught me about the most complicated cocktail known to man, The Rum Martinez. You can't really beat toasted wood chips, digital smoke infusers and 23-year-old rum though. Let me ask you this, what is your favorite drink to make? What are you passionate about?"
"Wait a second did you just use the word passion? Do you know what that word means?"
"I used to know what that word meant but all I can see today is loads of paperwork, a boss that continues to pile the work on, a family that is growing frustrated by my lack of connection due to all my business travel, a wife that is on the verge of divorcing me, and many sleepless, stress filled nights. So not really, let's just use a different phrase, what's your go to drink?"
"I'll make you something that I'm known for in these parts. You know I opened this bar several years ago. I remember the day. I was so thrilled to finally be on my own. I had been working as a pastor for ten years and it was time to make a transition. I was worn out much like you are and I just needed a break. I knew that I wanted to start a church of my own but I did not want it to look like the churches of today. After all I was sick and tired of the slick, polished, smog filled, platitudinal pep talks that many of them were known for. I was tired of "making jesus famous". I lost a lot of friends but I gained something very valuable when I opened this church. I'll tell you about that in a minute."
"No, please tell me now. I am very interested that you call this a church."
"Well, the truth is I have made stronger connections and been able to speak life into dead situations more making drinks behind this bar than I ever did on Sunday morning at 9 am. People are not reserved here, they don't bring their masks with them. They come in frustrated, angry, broken, and alone. I meet them wherever they are and see what comes of it. This is church."
"What do you mean? Thanks by the way, this drink is exceptional!"
"Absolutely, I can't tell you what's in it, you just have to promise to come back sometime when you are in the area for business. You used the word passion. Passion is derived from the Latin word 'passio' which means to suffer. It was popularized around the twentieth century by many who began to reference the death of Christ as passionate. Mel Gibson directed a movie called The Passion of the Christ somewhere around 2004. When you asked me what I am passionate about, you are really asking me what am I willing to suffer for. Which when you think of it that way, changes everything."
"Oh, wow. I did not know that word had such a deep meaning. I'm assuming you consider yourself a Christian, I mean you were a pastor after all."
"Don't get it twisted, I am a pastor, and I prefer to see myself as living from The Passion of Christ."
"That is really powerful, can you explain that more?"
"Of course, the reason I have passions of my own is because I live from the passion that was given to me. See we are all made in the image of God. That image has passion like nothing else in this world. In fact the fullness of scripture is to show God's willingness to lay himself down for someone else. To suffer for. His passion gives me life and I live from His passion. Another way of saying it is out of death, came life. Anything worth doing is worth suffering for."
"Say that again please"
"ANYTHING WORTH DOING IS WORTH SUFFERING FOR"
"I need to sit on that for a second"
"That's cool, I'm just a guide, you can completely ignore me if you need to"
"I don't know what to do with that"
"That's ok, I have been thinking through this for over twenty years and still don't quite know what to do with it myself. I know this, the suffering that you see in front of you is the kind you are not really willing to do any longer. You want a different kind of suffering. You want your work to matter, you want to be making a difference that counts (but that no one is counting), you want your family to be excited when you come home and your wife to have a deep connection with you again. You want your nights to be sleep filled and your person to be at peace. Right?"
"How do you know?"
"Because, that is what everyone wants, they just don't usually have the words to say it like that. Listen you really need to sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and write down what you are willing to suffer for, or as you like to say, what you are passionate about. Then you need to make some really hard decisions to take a step in that direction. Let me ask you this, what would you give to have a life filled with passion?"
"A life filled with Suffering? I'm already there."
"Remember passion is the right kind of suffering."
"I know, I just thought I would give you a hard time"
"Haha. It is counter-intuitive, that's for sure."
"I would give whatever it takes to have passion for life again"
"Ok, meet me here next Wednesday at the same time"
"But...I live in..."
"Stop, you just said you would give anything"
Hope you enjoyed my little story. I am a guide. I'm willing to help guide you, if you please. It will cost you and I'm not just talking about money, I'm talking about something way more important and so much larger.
If you have come to this bar tired, thirsty, and worn out, I can help.
After all, that is what I am passionate about or as we just learned what I am willing to suffer for.
If I can help you or a group of your people hit me up, firstname.lastname@example.org or https://callahanbooks.net/speaking (form at the bottom of the page)
I'll see you next Wednesday!