How I Discovered My True Passion
It is my pursuit to explore my passion for God: the what, the how, and the why of this passion. I want to share a little about how I discovered my true passion. I have been on the search for my true passion for decades. I've always searched for that one thing that would alter or change my life and bring me into a place of "true" success, what I considered a success. Even though I know that success is not the answer, I have continued to pursue that one thing that would prove my worth and express my innermost being to those around me. For decades I played and composed music traveling the world. Some of the success I have had in composing has been wonderful. I earned my income from it. But it's not my passion. It is something I genuinely love.
Another one is sports. I enjoy golf. It's a great sport for me. Enough so that I pursued it professionally on tour. I enjoy being out there; I enjoy the walk. Of all the things in golf, more than anything, I love being outside and taking a walk on the golf course. It's like being in a manicured park, right? There is a book called "Golf is a Good Walk Spoiled." But I genuinely enjoy the walk. I enjoy being outside. But it's not what motivates me; it's not what drives me.
It's finding that one thing. I could never entirely and have never found that one thing that drives me: the innermost passion. I have traveled the world speaking and ministering on platforms, stages, conferences, events, and churches, too numerous to count. What a blessing, what an honor. I'm not saying these weren't honors. It is an honor. But again, it hasn't been my passion.
I've come to this moment in my life where I realized I've been pursuing some "thing" that was my passion. And it hasn't answered the question in my spirit. It hasn't taken me to that place where I can genuinely and honestly say, "This is my passion." What it has done is create some self-doubt in me. It made some moments that I did not expect to walk into, which were self-doubt and a lack of self-worth because I wasn't discovering that passion, that one thing that caused people to say, "Oh Byron, that's your passion, man!"
I recently found myself in another place like this, a bit confused and frustrated. I began to ask the question; maybe it's not a something, maybe it's another issue in my life. Maybe there is another purpose, another focus that has been key in my life that is my true passion.
I want to share briefly about a little book that altered my life. I was a youth pastor at a Presbyterian church in St. Louis, Missouri, called Memorial Presbyterian Church. The pastor at that time was Dr. George Scotchmer. I had an office as a youth pastor about the size of a broom closest, but I would stay late at night studying. I had recently begun to walk back with God again and had many questions. They had a library there, and I would go into it often late at night and stay there for several hours reading and studying. One night, while searching for my next book, I discovered that this little bitty paperback was stuck between two theological books and one of the covers of the other books. And I peeled this little book off to read the title, "The Practice of the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence. It's a series of letters from a Catholic monk named Brother Lawrence to his bishop. As I remember, they were written in the 1600s.
This little book altered my life. The pursuit of Brother Lawrence, who mainly worked in the kitchen and doing more menial labor, was the pursuit of hearing God and responding at the moment: the practice of the presence of God, of practicing His presence, of knowing His existence in his day-to-day life. As soon as I read his letters, I knew this was my life's pursuit, the passion! This is what I want to be about! I want to be about hearing God's voice and responding to His voice!
Let's step back because the Scriptures discuss Jesus' relationship with the Father. His pursuit was to hear His Father's voice and then respond. If I am to emulate Christ on the earth, that's a pretty good one to follow. To follow the pursuit of hearing the Father's voice and then responding to his voice. Would you agree with that?
I've kept this book with me throughout the years to remind me of the practice of the presence of God. Whether I'm slow at listening and responding or whether or not I do it well, my heartbeat is to respond to His voice, to hear His voice, and to experience that moment-by-moment, day-by-day presence.
We have a passion at the very core of our being. For decades I've been pursuing the one "thing" that would change my life, and all the time, I had already been following the passion of my life, which is to hear the Father's voice and respond. Keep your love on fire.