I started this series before I left Nashville and have been remiss about completing it. So, we’re officially reopening the posts on Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. Feel free to add your comments and insights on the quotes as well — especially if you’ve read the book.
Mark talks about cages that keep us from living the spiritual adventure that God has destined for us. The first one that he tackles is the Cage of Responsibility. He says:
“Here is the mistake that so many of us make: we start out pursuing a passion and end up settling for a paycheck. So, instead of making a life, all we do is make a living. And our deep-seated passions get buried beneath our day-to-day responsibilities.
Don’t get me wrong. You need to take care of your responsibilities. You need to pay your bills, take out the garbage, and plan for retirement. But your greatest responsibility is pursuing God-ordained passions. And if you allow less important responsibilities to displace more important ones, then you are practicing … irresponsible responsibility.”
Mark goes on to say that instead we need to practice responsible irresponsibility. Simply put “responsible irresponsibility means refusing to allow your human responsibilities to get in the way of pursuing the passions God puts in your heart.” He then begins to examine the life of Nehemiah. In particular the passion he had for rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem.
Here are a few more quotes from this chapter relating to discovering your God-ordained passions:
- “When it comes to doing the will of God, God-ordained passions are far more important than any human qualification we can bring to the table. In fact, God often uses us at our point of greatest incompetence. That way He gets all the credit.”
- “When God puts a passion in your heart, whether it be relieving starvation in Africa or educating children in the inner city or making movies with redemptive messages, that God-ordained passion becomes your responsibility.”
- “Supernatural sadness and righteous indignation often reveal our God-ordained passions. As in the case of Nehemiah, if something causes you to weep and mourn and fast and pray for days on end, it is a good indication that God wants you to take personal responsibility and do something about it. … So what makes you cry? What makes you pound your fist on the table? … What makes you smile? If you want to discover your God-ordained passions, then you need to identify what makes you mad, sad, or glad.”
I’ve sort of been stuck on what he says next in this chapter. I can’t seem to move on. I’ve been mulling it over in my mind for quite some time now. I’ve even chatted with close friends and family in hopes that I can sort through the thoughts in my mind. See if you feel likewise after reading this:
“‘What is is you want?’ That is the question the king asked Nehemiah. And it gets to the heart of passion. I’m convinced that many of our problems are by-products of the fact that most of us can not answer that question. We don’t know what we want. We’ve never defined our goals or values or passions, so we’re out of touch with our hearts’ desires. And our growing responsibilities have numbed us to the possibilities around us and the passions within us.”
Think about that for awhile, will you? Really ponder that. Let it settle in around you. Try and make a list. I couldn’t at first. I’m not talking about a self-centered list — I’m talking about passions that you KNOW God placed inside you.
I’ll see if I can wrap up this series in another post or two. If you can, I highly recommend you purchase it here or borrow this book so that you can read it all in context and not just the little snippets provided here.