My entire life (and my family will attest to this) I’ve been a very passionate person (DEFINITELY the understatement of the century). About pretty much everything. I’ve always said to people, “I don’t care what you do, just be passionate about it!” But that was before my passion died…. I’ve never in my life had a problem with self motivation. If anything….I usually tend towards over-motivation. My engine tends to run on full throttle all of the time. I haven’t lived an easy life up to now….blessed and relatively secure….but not easy. I’ve had my share of scrapes, but thankfully, the Father has pulled me out of them all. But on Father’s Day 2014, I found myself in a trial that seemed insurmountable. And I didn’t realize it at the time….but as my son died in my arms….my passion died with him. I didn’t see it coming at the time, but my lens that I saw the world through became very different in an instant.
Everything about what I do every day and about who I am is about making people better. I am a Chiropractor by trade and a public speaker, so every single day, dozens of times a day….I am blessed to be the hands of the Father and fix what is broken. I get to re-connect the disconnected. I get to mend the wounded both physically, nutritionally and spiritually. It truly is a remarkable calling to be able to sit in my office across from so many different people as they pour their hearts out to me and tell me what is going on with them and be able to sit there with them and as the Father begins to speak to me…begin to minister to them in whatever way they need most. It has never ever felt like a job at all. To be able to help people with issues ranging from neck pain to infertility, leg pain to neuro-endocrine disorder, from headaches to Multiple Sclerosis is more than humbling. The Father has blessed us, again and again and AGAIN with amazing patients who have beautiful stories. That is multiplied as I travel and speak and am blown away to watch people’s eyes open and their brains explode as they learn that their lives were meant for MORE and that they are WORTH all the Lord brings them. But that all changed that night in the hospital as I drove my wife home….without our son….as she and I cried all the way home. The stories coming into and out of the office haven’t changed….but my response to them was about to.
I think it was a combo of emotions that shattered my normally very empathetic and caring demeanor after losing Evans. Fear of what could happen next was definitely one of them. After going through that traumatic an experience, you feel very vulnerable….like coming home to your house having been robbed. You don’t feel as safe anymore. Regret at not spending as much time with my family and a burning desire to spend every second with them. Anger at having to pour into anyone else when I just wanted to curl up in a ball with my wife and two kids in my arms and stay in bed.
When I got back to the office after being with my family for a month, I realized that as people began (just like before) telling me what was going on with them…..I didn’t care. Sometimes I was slightly offended really. “Really Mr. Jones……your ELBOW is a little sore….” And the entire time he’s complaining about this I’m thinking, “THAT’S IT?!?!? I’M SITTING HERE WITH NO SON AND YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR STUPID ELBOW!!!!!!” I could hardly take it. It was very hard to be empathetic and to care when a new parent was complaining about their baby too. “I just haven’t been able to sleep and he cries all the time!” And in my head I’m saying, “I’d give anything to hear Evans cry and to stay up with him all night long”. I was having to extend grace to people on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. I was done. I didn’t have anything left in me to pour into anyone else. I actually looked at my options on selling the practice and quitting. I felt like since my passion was gone….what was the point anymore and what was the use? We had always said that if this ever became a struggle or a “job” that we would do something else because we wanted to always be passionate about what we did. I came so close to pulling the plug on the whole gig. That was until the Father changed my heart and mind.
I was listening to a book by Darren Hardy (editor and owner at the time of Success Magazine) called “The Entrepreneur Roller Coster”. He is a fabulous speaker and business man. One of the topics in his book was on finding your passion. He made a comment and said, “You can never actually ‘lose’ your passion for something, it’s always inside you. You have to just turn it back on.” And then he taught something I have never heard before and the Father used it to ignite my fire again. He talked about the four parts to passion… I always thought and believed that if you weren’t 100% passionate about what you were doing….then you weren’t passionate at all and you shouldn’t be doing it. But Darren Hardy taught that there are four different parts to passion and as long as you are passionate about at least one out of the four then you have all you need to be a rockstar at what you were doing and to do it with amazing passion.
1. The WHAT:
The first thing he talked about was being passionate in the “What” of your business or anything you were doing. This is the nuts and bolts of what goes on in a day. The things that you do. So for me it is the adjusting, the interacting with patients and staff, putting in notes, etc. After coming back from burying my boy, I had ZERO passion for this.
2. The WHY:
The second category you can have passion in is the “Why” behind what you do on a daily basis. The Father has blessed Cindy and I with a very strong “Why”. Our “Why” is changing hearts and generations for the Kingdom through changing the health of an entire generation. We want our ceiling to be our kids’ floor when it comes to the things they accomplish for the Father and what they know about health or whatever. This part I was still passionate about, but it had faded. I was less interested in pouring out, but I knew this was because I was drained, spent…..exhausted.
3. The HOW:
This part of passion is just what it says, “How” you do your thing every day. So the systems we have in place in the office, the schedule, the way we draw lines and evaluate x-rays….etc. Again….ZERO passion for this when I came back. I almost loathed how I had to do everything. I felt like a caged animal stuck in the rooms with people. I didn’t want to be restricted to the room and felt claustrophobic. I wanted to drag all my tables out into the parking lot and adjust and work with people out there.
4. The WHO:
This last category rocked me. I realized that I had more passion in this category than EVER before in my entire life. I do what I do to honor my Father and to have a platform to love on people and show them relationship with the One. I work to relieve stress and pain that is getting in the way of people realizing their full potential and help them serve the Father better. I realized that I had several “Who’s”. My incredible wife who was walked with me through more than she ever signed up for. Who has loved me through it all and encouraged and supported me through every step of our marriage. My five kids. My four that I am blessed to be able to walk with every day and honored to be able to nurture and lead. And my one who received the greatest reward and is waiting on us on the other side. And my Savior. HE truly goes before all, but I save the best for last. I was reminded that it wouldn’t matter if I had turned off all passion for anything else in my life and anything else that took up my days, that HE was enough for me to do my ultimate best. HE is worthy of 100% of me. HE is worthy of me getting up every morning and doing everything I can to change the lives of those around me. HE is worthy of my time, my effort, my love, my worship, my tears, my emotions, my everything. And I remembered:
“In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord and not for people. Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, which He promised His people. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24 NCV
For me, what I realized is that even more so after saying “Good-bye for now” to Evans…..THIS was my greatest passion.
What’s yours? Are you struggling against the current of a life that you don’t feel like you signed up for? Do you feel like you are treading water in the middle of a dark ocean of problems? Look to the shore. There is a light that is beckoning you and leading you through the treacherous water safely to shore. You can trust Him. The journey to shore isn’t going to be easy….but then….He never promised that. But He promised to never turn awayand to never leave. You can trust in that…NO MATTER WHAT.