I get up early Monday through Friday and a meet some good friends of mine at the gym. We lift weights two days and do cardio exercises the other three. I am not crazy about getting up that early, but I really like the physical benefits associated with regular exercise.
As I get older, I am more concerned about staying in the best possible shape and exercise is a great way for me to accomplish that goal. A healthy heart is a key ingredient to staying in better shape and aerobic exercises are great at helping you. The hiccup is, we are not all taking care of our hearts. Look at some of the statistics…
- Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming approximately 1 million lives annually.
- Every 33 seconds someone in the United States dies from cardiovascular disease which is roughly the equivalent of a September 11th-like tragedy repeating itself every 24 hours, 365 days a year.
- More die of heart disease than of AIDS and all cancers combined.
Wow, that is pretty alarming! If you want to view more statistics on heart disease, check out the article I used to get this information.
I think these stats show us all the importance of taking care of your heart. However, in this post, I want to take a look a characteristic of your heart that has nothing to do with your physical body. I want to look at your passions; the things in life that get you excited. You see, I believe that just like there is a physical heart issue in our country, I also believe there are a lot of people going through life without any passion. They are going through the same motions day in and day out without any real drive for who they are or what they do.
Larry Crabb wrote in his book Finding God, “The core problem is not that we are too passionate about bad things, but that we are not passionate enough about good things.” Look at what Tom Paterson says about heart in his book Living the Life You Were Meant To Live:
Heart is where you are centered, where you desire to serve, the altar upon which you wish to place your talents. Giftedness is what you are. Heart is where you will most likely apply what you are. Heart refers to empathy, attraction, or “draw” towards a group of people, a field of expertise, or a particular type of service. Evaluating your heart helps you determine where you might best use gifts, where you wish to serve, and whom you wish to serve.
I can hear you now, “This is great, but how do I find out my passion.” In his book S.H.A.P.E.:Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose For Life, Erik Rees identified five “passion principles” that can help you define what your passion. Ask yourself:
What Drives You? What do my dreams and desires drift toward? What do I really want to do for God? What motivates me to take action? What do I crave?
Who Do You Care About? Who do I feel I can most profoundly influence for God? What age range do I feel led to minister to? What affinity group do I feel led to serve? How could I impact them in a way that maximizes my gifts?
What Needs Will You Meet? There are all kinds of needs… spiritual, physical, relational, emotional, educational, vocational, to name just a few. What are the top two needs I love meeting? Why do I love meeting these needs? What lessons have I learned that I could pass on to others?
What Cause Will You Help Conquer? What cause or issue makes my heart race? Where could I make the greatest impact for God? If time wasn’t an issue, to what cause would I donate myself?
What Dream Will You Fulfill? What pursuit would release the passion in my life for God? What God-centered dreams can I identify that have been buried by life? What would I attempt to do for God with the rest of my life?
If you are wanting to become more passionate about your life, you owe to yourself to answer these questions.
How are you living a life of passion? If you would like assistance in discovering your God given areas of passion, coaching is for you. You can contact me here.