by Peg Coleman
In the following series of articles I will be looking at the fields of sports and entertainment. My purpose is to try to determine what it is that motivates people in these fields to pursue the things they do and to see if those same motivations are apparent in my own life. As you read and think about the lives presented here, see if you recognize any similiarites between them and yourself. A friend once said that life lived without passion and vision is a very empty sort of life. As we go on, think about the motivations they have for what they do and see if you see some of that passion and vision in their lives and if you recognize any of the same things in your own life. How do you face each day? With a sense of anticipation and purpose or do you try to avoid thinking about it at all, preferring to "make it through each day" until you reach the next big event-The Weekend, The Vacation, Christmas, My Wedding, The Man-United Match? As you read, ask yourself if there is anything more to life than what you are experiencing at this moment.
As I was sitting in my room on the second floor, preparing to write the first article of this series, I glanced out my window and saw the most beautiful doe standing just under it, foraging through the grass for food. I had never seen one standing so close, therefore had never had the opportunity of observing it as I could that day.
I was struck by the sense of alertness I could sense in her from the way she stood with legs placed just so-perfectly balanced-ready to fight or to flee away at a seconds notice, also by the movement of her ears. Even as she foraged through the grass, her ears were in continual motion. Sometimes they turned in the same direction, sometimes they moved independently in opposite directions in an effort to catch the sounds lurking beneath the gently blowing breeze-testing them over and over, making sure they were not the muffling the sound of danger. What was the cause of her suspicion and the wariness in each step? Was it always so? Are we like her? Are we different?
My cousin CJ walked in a similar manner while elk hunting in the western part of the United States a few weeks ago. He carefully and quietly picked his way through the woods searching out his prey. As a sportsman, this was an annual outing for him, his brother and a friend. They were cautious, capable men who enjoyed the time together away from the usual responsibilities and concerns of everyday life. They were men who had learned to appreciate and respect nature in all of its varying moods.
Even as cautious as he was, CJ did not see the small bear cubs or their mother that day as he walked between them. Though he was listening and watching for the elk, his ears did not perceive the sound of the mother stealthily working her way between the trees with one instinct uppermost-to protect her cubs from this unknown threat. When the bear attacked, CJ had no warning, no time to cock his gun, no time to call out to his friends walking only 200 yards away. He was fortunate. After hearing his skull cracking between the bear's teeth, receiving countless swipes of the paw and nails across his back and neck, the bear finished with him. It took weeks to recover physically. I was more concerned about him psychologically, how was he doing, was he sleeping? Was he full of fear? When I called to check on him, I found out he was back at work and had been out hunting in the woods several times since the accident. He did it partly because he could not let fear overcome him as it was something he loved to do and partly to help his friend overcome the memory of finding him battered and broken that day in the woods.
Would you say he had passion for this sport? I certainly would. But more than an interest that developed into a passion I believe there is a deeper motivation many do not even begin to recognize, the origin of which can be found in the verse in Genesis 1:28 ".and have dominion over.every living thing that moves upon the earth." Have you never sensed something which you may not be able to define or point a finger to that in situations likes the ones CJ faced caused you to say by your actions "I will not let this situation defeat me. This is not the way things are meant to be."? I believe we act on that deep inner urge many times without ever stopping to examine what the source of that urge might be.
Could the source of that strength be the One who gave us that instruction in Genesis? Is it possible that, whether we acknowledge his existence or not, we know that the urge that at times wells up in us to do heroic things, the strength that seems to surface in times of great distress, the sense that we need to continue faithfully doing our tasks day after day , could not possibly come from the smallness of our own natural inclinations? Our Creator says in Matthew 28:20 " I am with you always".
If the one who created the world we live in is the same One who instructed us to have dominion over it and is the same One who says he will be with us always , is it possible He is the source of this passion we find rising from within that enables us to overcome, to achieve, to refuse to be defeated by the circumstances of the day? Could it also be a gift from Him? I believe it is. The Bible says we are created in his image, therefore with his own passion and strength in us. Just as the doe was created with an instinct for survival and acted at all times on that instinct, I believe we often act out of that passion and motivation that was given to us at the beginning.
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