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Synonomous: Ardor, Enthusiasm, Fervor, Zeal

April 5, 2010

What are you passionate about?

Six years ago, I experienced a life-changing event. No, I didn’t have a near-death experience, or jump out of a plane, or another of those eye-widening stories. In fact, my experience seemed quite ordinary at the time. I studied abroad.

This was significant for many reasons. First, I previously thought that I, Kylajoyful, would never travel outside the U. S. of A (well, minus the youth group mission trip to Mexico). I have a little issue with fear. Now I’ve been to eight countries, and think I haven’t even begun to see the world. Second, I began to enjoy learning. Weird. Third, my thoughts, personality, and passions finally began to make sense. More on that later. Finally, I felt as if I was seeing the world and my life for the first time. I began to grasp my own life and culture because I saw outside of it.

Many parts of my current life stem from that semester. You’ll probably have to ask me specific questions in order for me to tell you many details, but what I can tell you is that I am now boldly passionate about studying off-campus/overseas/outside of your comfortable culture. Note the adverb, boldly. Every time I meet a college student, I advocate that he or she study off-campus. I indoctrinate high school students as well. My hope and wish is that every person has the opportunity to live and learn outside of their home environment at least once in their life. Even as I write this my entire body is involved in what I’m typing. I’m smiling, my shoulders tense a little, I’m leaning forward in my chair. This makes my eyes light up.

My life is not based on one passion of sending your children to China for a semester. I only wrote about traveling first because I happened to run into a lovely friend yesterday, with whom* I studied abroad that glorious semester. Just seeing her made me giddy.  What are my other passions?

The marginalized. I can not stand it when people are pushed to the margins of society. Just like my eyes were lighting up when I was describing my previous love, when I notice that a person is being pushed to the outside, my blood nearly boils. As I share now, I am leaning forward, envisioning various scenes in my mind, and clenching my teeth a little. Human beings are meant to be loved, cared for, nurtured, hugged, respected, and forgiven. All people. Not just you mother and grandmother. Jesus was real, He lived, and He brought life to you just as much as he did for me. To the girl in your fourth period math class who no one talks to. Jesus brought life and freedom to the homeless man who sits outside your office building and waits for the day to end. Jesus brought hope to the slaves, the prostitutes, the carpenters, the fishermen, the CEOs, and the janitors. I am boldly passionate about loving people.

These are two of my passions, two of the topics that I will never turn away from in conversation. They are present and clear in the way I live my life.  I would enjoy hearing what your passions are. What topics cause you to talk fast, lean forward, think about, and share? What topics create an unmistakable glow in your eyes?


*Please accept my sincerest of apologies if I did not use ‘whom’ correctly. I missed that day in grammar class.

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