Guest Post: Follow Your Suffering


Garrett Lowe is a pastor, blogger, and creator of Distant Mentor. His latest book project is compelling. He’s writing a book on calling. Calling isn’t something you hear much about unless you work in a ministry context. In this post, Garrett shows us how your purpose (or your “calling”) isn’t exactly the same thing as your passion.

Can you imagine someone telling you to "follow your suffering"?

There are so many motivational quotes encouraging you to follow your dreams, do what makes you happy, and find out what makes you come alive. 
All of these quotes can be summed up with one more phrase all of us have heard,

Follow your passions!

But what does passion really mean? How do you discover what you’re passionate about, or your deepest passions? What makes someone a passionate person? Would you like to live a more passionate life?

Passion comes from the Latin word, passionem or passio 
which means “suffering, enduring”

I was glad to have a conversation with one of my mentors the other day about passion because this is an area that hasn’t been very defined for a lot of us. 
We talked about how there can be an infancy and maturity to passion; to think about passion in layers or on a scale.

Passion can start out in its infancy as a curiosity or a continual fascination. Think about something that you keep coming back to learn about or get better at (perhaps music and taking guitar lessons).

That fascination/passion grows and then becomes fun, exciting, and brings you great joy (you learn a few chords on the guitar and are able to play some songs).

You love it so much that you are willing to put up with boredom (practicing the same scales over and over again because you know it’ll make you better). 

Passion keeps maturing and you are willing to put up with pain (the callouses on your fingertips are starting to form and it hurts)!!!

Passion continues to mature, and you are willing to put up with obstacles, insults, and emotional or physical suffering (writing your own songs, opening for a popular band and getting booed off stage night after night). 

What do you think? Share your thoughts and perspective!

What do you think? Share your thoughts and perspective!

But you stick with it because you're passionate.

You are willing to suffer, to go through pain to keep doing what you are convicted you must do. This makes me think that conviction and commitment are characteristics that must be present for passion to exist in our lives. I haven't done any research on this, but I have seen this in my own life and in the lives of others. 

What do you think?

I recently heard a story about Jimi Hendrix who toured as an opening act with The Monkees in 1967. At this point in history, Hendrix was unknown in the States and night after night he would get booed. As soon as he would take the stage and begin playing, people would either start booing or chanting for Davy and The Monkees to come out. That's enough to make someone want to quit.

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We all know Jimi Hendrix didn’t quit playing. But countless others have given up on things they thought they were passionate about because of some form of suffering. 

This leads me to believe that the more mature your passion is for something, the more you will be willing to suffer for it. 

If you desire to grow more passionate about someone or something, you should embrace the pain and suffering that comes with it. 

The next time someone tells you that they're passionate about something, you should say, "Oh, how much pain has it caused you?"

What are you passionate about? 
What are you willing to suffer for?
Are you willing to follow your suffering?

Today’s blog post has been published with permission by the author. Visit Distant Mentor and subscribe to receive future posts like this in your inbox.