Some time ago I heard a preacher say, "Our passion for God must be greater than all our other passions." And I got to wondering:
No doubt, for a Christian, Moslem, Jew…passion for God is a touchstone, it is fuel. As the author of Ecclesiastes implies, passion is the energy that weaves together and creates the whole brocade of life.
But the thought that our passion for God must be greater than all other passions begs for me this question: Is it true that my passion for art, for a good book, a companion, a camp fire, or a walking stick and a well fitted back pack is separate from my passion for God?
My passion for a walk in the woods is not the same thing as my passion for God, but neither is it different. It’s a mystic thing, a Zen thing. Passion for God informs all my passions and any passion that makes me flourish informs my passion for God.
So when we try to be more passionate about God, we unconsciously pit our passion for family, for life, for the smell of cut grass after a rain, against a love and passion for God. This is what allowed the Pharisees to twist passion into a duty, and abandon their obligation to family and supposedly devote all their time to God. A ruse for which that Jesus had words.
No, when it comes to the things that put wind in your sails, there can be no passion hierarchy. I’m with Van Gogh, "To love God, it is necessary to love many things."