What is your number one passion? What is the thing or purpose that motivates you, inspires you, drives you? What pathway did you take to arrive at your passion and purpose?

Photo courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com.

Photo courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com.

Do you even have a #1 passion? The answer to that question, is yes. Everyone has something that keeps them going even if it is just to pay the light bill, though passion and purpose is deeper than that.

Everyone has a path they are taking or have taken to arrive at their passion and purpose. The path, though, may not be straight and smooth. The destination may not be apparent, but it happens as the path is traveled.

Passion, the dictionary says, is “any powerful or compelling emotion.”  Whatever generates the number one powerful and compelling emotion in anyone’s life will be something that permeates all their life.  It will be something or someone we don’t have remind ourselves about. It will be as natural as breathing.

A person’s number one passion should be something others don’t have to guess about.

Passions can be positive driving a person on a road towards something that is healthy; that makes the world or their world, at least, a better place. Passion is the reason for purpose. It is the thing that we cannot live without. It makes the path, no matter how short or long, worth traveling.

A negative passion is very akin to an addiction, something that overtakes a person on the way to somewhere, passes them and determines their destination. A negative passion is sneaky. We may not even know we have it until it is too late.

For many years, one of my main passions was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. It made the journey bearable. At 250 pounds heavier than I am now, anyone could look at me and tell that food was one of my passions.

Then, a cardiac surgeon made it clear if I continued on my path to destruction, eating as much as I wanted, the road would end quickly and very abruptly. I would not see my children grow up. I would not fulfill my dreams and desires. It was then, I realized what had become my passion was about to eat me whole, a mighty big task at the time.

When I could no longer eat large amounts of food in one sitting, I didn’t realize I had been living to eat instead of eating to live. It was a sad revelation. I was 50 years old. Half my life was spent cultivating the wrong passion.

On the other hand, a positive passion in my life has always been writing. It was encouraged by my teachers and college professors. I could ace any test, as long as it was an essay. I cheered when a large portion of a grade involved a research paper. I loved everything about writing.

After college, I spent 31 years as a writer, editor and publisher.  In 2006, I exited the changing publishing scene to concentrate on a totally different business in order to pay the bills. I loved writing, but I liked being able to make the mortgage payment better. Writing continued to tug and pull at me. I ignored it and relegated it to hobby status.

It’s important to discover what motivates us to get up in the morning and stay on the pathway.

I know a middle-aged man who won a gigantic settlement he had worked a long time to get. He quit his job, bought a large home and watches television all day. He is struggling. He knows Jesus, but he has lost his passion and no longer knows his purpose.

Somehow his passion became existence instead of really living.

Writing is a passion of mine, but if I couldn’t write I would not watch television all day. As much as I love writing, there is a force outside of me that compels me forward in whatever I write. I know there is Someone greater who has given me talents and gifts I cannot ignore.

My passion since seven years of age, though it did get relegated to the back burner for several years, is to know and feel the smile of God on my life.  Today, that overwhelming desire permeates every part of my life, every moment, everything I do.

He is what I get up for in the morning. He keeps me going through the day. He is the reason I run a business to help provide for my family. He is the reason I stop and talk to someone. He is the reason I want to get my health in order. He is the reason I love. He is the reason I write.

After almost 60 years of living, I finally have my passion priorities in order. I hope and pray it doesn’t take others as long as it has me.

Here is the synopsis of my passion and purpose pathway:  Jesus is my number one passion. Writing is simply the way I express my passion for Jesus. Eating healthy is what I do to continue expressing my passion.

“God is my strong fortress; He has made my way safe. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, leading me safely along the mountain heights … You have given me the shield of your salvation; Your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping” 2 Samuel 2:33-37 (NLT).

What pathway did you take to arrive at your passion and purpose?

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.