I was sitting in church recently when our pastor asked several basic questions, “What is a passion for you?” and “Where did it start?” My mind immediately raced back in time to a small, rural town in Northern Indiana named Wakarusa. It was there I discovered my great passion for sports teams. One such team is the Cincinnati Reds.
How would a 7-year-old boy fall in love with a team so far from where he lived? One man made all the difference. Dick Billman was the owner/operator of the Sinclair Full Service Gas Station directly across the street from my home. In the summer of 1971, I would go across the street to help him clean his auto shop to receive my payment of a Snickers bar and a 10 oz. glass bottle of Mountain Dew.
The benefits package kept me going back to serve, but it was Mr. Billman who taught me how to read a box score in the local newspaper that fired my flame for sports. As I studied with keen interest, it turned into a full-blown passion. My love for sports continues to this day with all my favorite teams: Hoosier basketball, Irish football, Colts football, and Reds baseball.
As the co-founder of First Friday’s Leadership Forum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I have realized another passion of mine: connecting leaders to build quality relationships that will ultimately make our area a better place. We read in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (NIV). That is our goal with First Fridays. We want to sharpen those who attend, enabling them, in return, to help sharpen others within their spheres of influence.
So I ask you, what are you passionate about today? Is it your work, your family, or something else? Whatever it is, pursue it, and bless others with it. When we use our passion to make others around us better, we all get better in the process.
Take time today to write out what you are passionate about, and then act upon it.