Since I was in high school, Passion was a big deal. All the kids wanted to go to it and only a few of the “lucky” ones were invited. When I hit college, going to Passion became less of a wish and more of a pressure. For the year or so that I hung around my old home church during college, I believe every Sunday morning I attended found some sort of pressure being weighed on me to go to Passion. If you know me, I hate being pressured. So I firmly refused to go. There may have also been something like a $600 fee that kept me from going, but my decision ultimately lay in me not wanting to go.The first time I turned it down, it was a pride thing. But by the next year, I sincerely didn’t want to go.
Why? The ironic thing was that when God really got a hold of my life, I was at an event similar to Passion,but geared toward jr highers. I felt a lot of emotions after that event. Good emotions. But while I saw how emotions could drive a person to good, it could also be a cover-up for apathy. You know, you have an emotional experience and for a few weeks you’re all “GO JESUS!” But then time passes and your enthusiasm withers away. It can also create a desire for more emotions, more “buzz”, more feeling.
For instance, during the whole first year after that jr high event, I strived to recreate the emotional experience I had. I tried to reclimb the mountain. I don’t know how many times i made myself cry through that year, but it was probably more than all the times I cried through the rest of high school. Eventually I realized a couple things:
1) I was craving emotionalism over Jesus. I only wanted a spiritual buzz…I didn’t want spiritual sustenance.
2) You may only ascend that particular mountain once. Just as God gave the Law to Israel on Mt Sinai and then moved them away from there, He may give us that “mountaintop experience” and then move us away from that particular mountain. It wasn’t that I never felt so near to God again, it’s just that I felt nearer in different ways, and most of the time not in the context of an emotional conference.
I’m not dissing Passion or any other events like that at all. They’re doing good things and God is using them, for sure. But beware of making those events the only times you can “recharge your batteries”. These events may help blow away alot of the dirt you’re digging at, but you’ll have to rely on God to help you with the rocks underneath.
What do you think? Are events like Passion a double-edge blade?