Sheer, unadulterated passion and joy like that of a child on Christmas morning; that is how I would describe what I felt last Sunday. A blissful, happy, blithe mood that I had not felt in a long time swept over me that cloudy Sunday. I was on my way to shoot a competition, my first competition since March. Why was I so happy about this, why is it that this one hobby gives me such intense joy? The answer to those questions are actually found in theology, and God matter of factly wired us that way.
I have a lot of hobbies that I enjoy – fishing, kayaking, and exercising to name a few. Yet, none of those hobbies give me quite the same sense of childlike euphoria that going out and spending a day on the shooting range, competing against the best shooters in the area. That is because God created me that way. God specifically gave me shooting as a competitive hobby because He knew that tough times would come. He knew that life would get complicated, busy, and overwhelming.
In C.S. Lewis’s book “The Screwtape Letters”, C.S. Lewis surmises that God sends us these little pleasures (or hobbies) in life that are unique to each of us, and while they do not necessarily further the kingdom of God, they are not inherently sinful either. For one person it may be eating chocolates, for another collecting socks, and for yet more catching a fish. No matter the hobby, God wired each of us to have these passions in life.
Lewis (with theological backing) speculated that God gave us these passions, so when life gets tough, we can use them to reconnect to ourselves. By reconnecting to ourselves, we reconnect to our spirits within, and to God. For that parcel of time, we experience a glimpse of what it is like in heaven. God gave each and every one of us a passion so that we could always return and be close to Him! Brilliant.
Last Sunday, I re-learned a valuable life lesson. It is ok to go outside of church and experience God. As I was driving to the shooting range, I felt completely enamored with God, and worshipped the entire way there, and the entire way back. I would challenge each and every one of my readers to ask themselves “What are my passions? What makes me truly happy in life?” Once one has identified his or her passions, the next step is to use them! God is a good and loving God, and he knew that there would come times where I needed a break from life – so he made me a leadslinger.