In musical direction, this words means to be "impassioned" or to play in a passionate manner. I am currently listening to Yo Yo Ma's CD entitled, "Appassionato." My favorite pieces are his rendition of Camille Saint Saens, "The Swan" and Mark O'Connors "Appalachian Waltz". Both pieces move me to tears -- I cannot explain it or understand it -- but they simply touch me somewhere deep and cause a great passion to arise within me.
This feeling of passion is something that has been missing from my life for a very, very long time. I have always been a passionate person, a person who deeply feels things, who senses things, who observes and learns visually, and who studies at great length to understand and find meaning. I am this way with people, with events, and with life, in general. I tend to wait a very long time before making up my mind about something, and then once I do, I am wholly committed to that decision. The problem is often that I am quick when it comes to deciding on a path, but slow to actually follow it through. I have gotten better over time, more consistent in my approach, and more directed in my decision making process.
The interesting thing is that often I make decisions based solely on impassioned facts -- I take very careful stock of what I see and think and then with passion, decide yes or no. I am often criticised for my passionate language use, for the way my voice raises when I make a point, or for my unwillingness to budge when I believe I am right about something. I try very hard not to come off as a know-it-all, but often I am accused of being such a person. I don't think that is accurate, because I don't go around asserting myself very often. When I do think I am right, I don't back down unless I am proven wrong. If I am proven wrong, I will admit it and will confess my point was faulty or without merit. The issue is that so many people are passionate about things without really knowing whether or not they should be passionate about them. Often, then are passionate about things that are irrational and faulty. Instead of studying and taking the time to weigh the value of such views, they go all berserk and think that being passionate is the same as being knowledgeable. It is not. These are two very different things, and they should not substitute for one another.
I tend to be passionate about a couple areas only: Justice, Righteousness, Fairness, and the Holiness of God. I tend to see everything from this point of view. I believe this is because my personality type is very much legalistic, and is very factual and rational. I look at the facts, I study the details, and I weigh the consequences of action BEFORE I do anything. This whole process takes a long time, depending on the nature of the decision. Sometimes it can take a lifetime; othertimes, it is right now and only right now.
As I study my life, as I look back over it, the course of time, the roads chosen and followed, I see a pattern emerging. I see myself as I am, not as I used to believe myself to be. I see a very careful person, a caring and committed person, a passionate and devoted person, a person who deeply loves and is deeply convicted and convinced of certain things. Over the course of my life, I see decisions I have made -- some good; some not so good. I see the outcome, as expected and as not planned. I see one thing clearly, one thing only: I see a consistent approach to everything I do, from the way I view life to the way I construct answers. I see careful, considerate, and cautious choices -- not random or haphazard. I see choices that were made, and outcomes that were different than planned, but not turned away from or discounted. The deed was done, the work completed, there was a sense of duty and honor and a view that said "this is the choice you made, now you must deal with it." I look at myself through very different eyes now. I see the truth in myself and I confess that I am pleased with how I have turned out. I don't mean to sound arrogant here at all, just there is a sense that I have been true to myself, to the way I am, even when things weren't as they should be.
I think this has been the whole reason why I have experienced such a tremendous upheaval in my life -- at this time in my life. I spent a great many years believing that I was worthless, and a sham, and a counterfeit. These were all lies told to me by other people, by Satan, and by myself. None of this was true, because the truth is told in the stripes I bear and in the burdens I carry. I can honestly look back over my life and evaluate it rationally. I see myself now, I think, as God sees me. I am not a horrible person, a person who was wishy washy and unstable. Oh, my goodness, no. Instead, God has shown me that my strength lay in my sheer will and determination to do right, always right. I might not have succeeded in that path -- but it was the point and effort of every action. My life was bound up in doing right, I think from the beginning. I can see that God created within me a desire for His Law and for Obedience to His Law. I tend to be legalistic in many aspects of my personality, and I always thought this was not good. God has shown me that it is indeed a great asset, so long as I remember that I am under Grace and not the Law. There is nothing wrong with seeing His Holiness through His Law -- there is only burden when we place ourselves under that Law instead of Grace. It is His Grace that sets us free, that looses the binds that hold us tight, that keeps us from experiencing the Liberality of His Gift.
As I gain a right appreciation of myself, my personality, and my traits (gifts and abilities), I am more and more convinced that I am whole, completely whole, and no longer fractured and torn apart. My life may still be in shreds, but myself, that part of me that belongs to Him, is 100% whole. My mind is stable; my heart is steadfast, and my will is surrendered to Him.
Now, I know that I am able to walk forward, to live a passionate life, a life that is surrounded and completely devoted to the One whom I love dearly. I love Him because He first loved me. I love no one else like the way I love Him. I am completely and utterly His -- to use, to mold, to shape, to create, to change, to empower, and to fill with His Precious and Passionate Holy Spirit.
God has been so good to me. He has Graced me abundantly, and has given newness of life to me. I can only give testimony to Him because there is no reason why I am able to say today, with such boldness and confidence, that I am indebted to Him, freed by Him, and living (alive in Spirit) because of Him. My life is His to do with as He pleases. I am passionately in love with my Lord, and I worship and praise Him now and forevermore.