original photo from pixabay Lately, I feel like God has really been calling me to just surrender myself completely to Him. Through vari...

Thoughtful Thursdays: Passionate

original photo from pixabay
Lately, I feel like God has really been calling me to just surrender myself completely to Him. Through various sermons, my personal Bible study, songs, even other bloggers, it all seems to be calling, telling me the same thing: Surrender. Like my next step in this relationship is to just give myself over to Him completely, to let Him order my every step, shine through my every word, show through me in all that I say, think, and do. To be so completely driven by, taken over, obsessed with Jesus, that when people look at me, He’s all that they see.

This idea has been stewing in the back of my mind for a while, but it really sort of came together for me a couple of weeks ago, when my youth group started doing this series called Viral. Basically, we talked about how we can share and show Jesus in our daily lives, and how, if we’re walking the right path, truly living Him out with everything we are, then we can actually make Jesus go viral. And it was just so... I don’t know. Funny? Cool? Weird? Because I’d had the exact same thoughts recently, about how we as Christians could come together and make Jesus famous in a good way. Let everyone we come in contact with see His wonderful love for what it really is.

But I wasn’t sure how to actually do that. Like, what would it look like? I mean, it’s easy to say “follow Jesus,” “be a fisher of men,” “listen for The Lord; He shall direct your paths,” and every other cryptic command you’ll hear from a pew. And these aren’t bad things, please don’t get me wrong. Just, for me, it wasn’t super practical advice. What I wanted to know was how to actually do that? Give me a step-by-step, lol, of what this Christian thing actually looks like.

My youth pastors gave a lot of tips during Viral, and they were great. But as I was leaving church one night and I got to thinking about it even more, well, I came up with this little spiel you’re about to read.

First off, I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I have all the answers.


But the same day as one of the Viral series, I was talking to one of my best friends about how I get with certain fandoms. When I fall in love with a movie/book/tv show, I get downright, absolutely, totally, and utterly obsessed. I think about the characters constantly, and I replay the scenes in my mind throughout the day, I find all the extras and the deleted scenes, I pin a billion heartbreaking pics, I read all the (good) fanfiction, and I write a couple hundred of my own. I theorize about the charries’ pasts, emotions, motives, and come up with a million mental headcanons. I take apart every single plotline, scene, every little word, until I know this thing inside out, backwards and forwards, every miniscule detail worth knowing. Then I either get bored and move on or become completely obsessed with a new fandom.

I was giggling madly while I talked to her because I was thinking about my fandom at the time, and later, I felt like I should feel kinda silly that something so fictional could matter to me so much. Truth be told, a part of me is a teensy bit embarrassed. But mostly, I don’t care.

Because I am a fangirl. And I am a phenomenally passionate one.

And that’s not a bad thing. Provided you don’t go too overboard (which I often do, but were not talking about that today), that’s what the stories are there for.

But what if I could be that obsessed about Jesus? What if I took apart every little word of His Word, what if I read all the commentaries, and I watched all the (good) sermons? What if I took copious notes on everything that confused me, and I researched each miniscule detail until I got it? What if I thought about Him and the aspects of who He is as much as I’ve thought about my favorite characters and aspects of who they are? What if I prayed and I listened and I sought Him in everything? What if I meditated constantly on His word and just let Him become a part of me the way these fandoms are a part of me?

Well, then my life would really start to shine for him, wouldn’t it? Every opportunity that I had, I’d talk about Jesus, the same way that, every opportunity that I have, I fangirl about my favorite fandoms. I’d be bold, unashamed, and unafraid, living for Him with all that is me.

I would be a Christian. And I would be a phenomenally passionate one.

Now to be clear, I’m not talking about being totally annoying and obnoxious and “DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING WHEN YOU DIE????” all up in everybody’s faces. What I'm talking about is letting Jesus grow in me first, then looking for opportunities and taking every one that presents itself to brag about Jesus through my love and my actions. When they ask me why I am the way I am, well, then I’ll use words.

Like I said earlier, I’m not trying to preach with this post, and I’m not trying to pretend like I have all the answers or like I’m anywhere close to having this down. For instance, in real life, I am super shy around people I don’t know. I am a phenomenally awkward human being, and I feel it every second that I’m out and about surrounded by strangers. It scares me, and it makes me crawl under this little shell of “Don’t come near me, don’t look at me, ABSOLUTELY NO EYE CONTACT,” whenever a stranger is within twenty feet.

Believe it or not, it is really hard to show God’s love when you’re hiding from everybody behind your cart of books.

But if I let Jesus truly become a part of me, His perfect love running through me, then He would cast out my fear. I’m not saying my social anxiety would just up and disappear, but my love for Him and His through me could be so strong, that I wouldn’t care what other people thought, and I would just live my life showing Him in everything. When the right time came, I could open up conversations about Him, the same way I’ve bonded with random strangers over Doctor Who, the Avengers movies, or Rick Riordan’s books.

I guess what I’m trying to say is when I’m a fangirl, I’m not ashamed: I’m flail-y, loud, obsessed, and passionate. And Jesus and His Kingdom? Kinda greater than any character or fandom I’ve ever seen.

So why can’t I be the same about Him?

I truly believe that if I was—if we all were—then we could make Jesus go viral. I mean, people say that a bunch of crazy teenage girls made Twilight a thing, and a bunch of obsessed tweens made One Direction famous. People say that a bunch of women made Fifty Shades the blockbuster it is today, and let’s face it, football’s only a thing because guys really like watching people hit each other. When people band together, they are powerful. We can be powerful.

So what if we got this obsessed with Jesus? What if we got crazy about Him the way we are about our fandoms or our music or our stories or our sports or whatever else we think about all the time and tell all of our friends about? What if we talked about it that much, shared it that much, wore Him on our sleeves that much? What if we banded together over the most meaningful cause in all the universe, couldn’t we make the true meaning of Christianity explode all over the world?

I honestly believe that if Jesus became our obsession, our passion, then people would start to see Him as He really is, and the truth of His love, not the hypocrisy everyone thinks Christianity is, would go viral.

***

Well, there’s my random thoughts for the week! What do you think? Have a verse to share? Thought to add? I’d love to see you in the comments. :)


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18 comments:

  1. Love love this. I have the same thoughts sometimes, about getting so obsessed with a TV show or a book series or a movie, and how exactly God fits in the picture. I could easily go on and on for hours about Lord of the Rings or Avengers or Star Wars or whatever I'm currently stuck on, and how awesome they are, but if I'm honest, when's the last time I went on like that about how awesome God is? And the super-cute guy from TV that I can't stop thinking about-- am I THAT in love with Jesus?
    I have a little poster hanging above my bed with this verse on it:
    "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30) I hung it there so that I would see it often and (hopefully) do what it says. But I wonder sometimes whether I ever actually, truly succeed at that. Especially when I choose to catch up on all the TV shows or browse YouTube for some new music video that I by some strange turn of events haven't watched yet (or spend way too long going back over a comment on a blog to make sure it's worded just right... eheheh), instead of reading my Bible or praying-- with no time limit.
    It's actually scary sometimes where I let my focus fall and remain, and I think it's probably the same for a lot of people. While (like you said) being totally crazy about something isn't a bad thing, in the long run, what are they really going to do for us? They're for fun-- that's all-- and I think it's easy to forget that. (Or maybe there are actually people who just watch TV and read books for entertainment instead of getting emotionally involved in them... hmm. Foreign concept.) They're not eternal and they generally do nothing of any benefit to our souls or our wellbeing whatsoever. I say that Jesus is my everything, but saying it and living it are two very different things.
    Hehe, I meant to write a comment, not a whole other blog post. But I loved what you had to say and by the time I'd said just about everything in my head, this speech happened. Sorry. xD

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    1. Oh gosh, that was a whole lot longer than I thought it was going to be.

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    2. Also (and please forgive me for continuing to talk, I'm not trying to take over your comments section, I promise xD), reading this brought to mind a song I've been listening to over and over lately. It's called I Found It All, sung by the Collingsworth Family, and while every word isn't a perfect match to your post, it shares the general message of surrendering to God, like you were talking about. Anyway, this song is so powerful and I love it soo much and I just thought I'd recommend it, lol. I'm done now. xD

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    3. Lol, It's totally fine! I love it when people respond to my posts, especially when the posts are the kinda spiritual, thoughtful ones like this. :)

      And well said. It's hard to find a balance, especially when there are so many fandoms and so many other things to distract us, but when you really get to thinking about how much time you spend on these awesome, but totally temporary things, it can be really shocking and sobering. Like, these are all great, but where's the /eternal/ value?
      So yeah, like you said, actually living like Jesus is our everything needs to become our most important thing. :)

      Thanks for commenting, and thanks for sharing that song! The message is amazing, and their voices are great. :)

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    4. I'm glad you liked it! Yess, they have suchh awesome talent. <3

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  2. MEEEEP. I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was perfect. This was PERFECT. <3 May I comment with a big resounding YES?! We need to be like this; *we need to get this*! This is perfect. :')

    We need to represent God in the fullness of Who He is - LOVE! I've been thinking about that a lot lately, and have been reading about what (or Who) Love is in 1 Corinthians https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13:4-8&version=AMPC . And when I think about it and read that over + over, *that* is Who God is. :') <3 This is what we need to let pour out of us, this is what we need to mirror in our every moment! Anyway, those have just been my thoughts this week, lol, I hope they make sense and I hope I explained it right. XD

    If you were interested, I have been watching/listening to a few things this week. There's this five minute (literally) video by a guy called Graham Cooke about who we are in Jesus, and honestly, it is such a good reminder and such TRUTH! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM5TnI7CzhA I'm going to post it on my blog, though, so if you wanted to wait till then, it's up to you. XD
    Also, there is this song I've been listening to that came to mind when I read this post called Pieces by Amanda Cook. It's a slow song, BUT THE LYRICS. What if our love for Him was like His love for us? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0FW--zidYA
    Anyway, absolutely NO compliance, like, seriously. You do not have to listen to these! XD <3

    This was brilliant. YES.

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    1. Thank you! I'm really glad you agree! :D

      Yes! Exactly! We need to study His Word, let His Love grow in us and then just let it pour out of us, shining and showing to everyone we come in contact with. :)

      Oh wow. That first video, like YES. Such a confidence builder, lol, because it is so /true/ and it is so easy for us to forget all that sometimes. But just asdfghjkl yes, YES, /YES/, thank you so much for sharing that! :D <3
      Just listened to the song, too, and read the lyrics. That /is/ gorgeous. Isn't Jesus' love just the BEST???!!! I want to love like that someday. :)

      Thanks again! :)

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    2. That song is beautiful! I love how powerful it gets toward the end. That paired with the message makes it super awesome.

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  3. Alexa, I really love this. You speak such truth! Keep at it, girl! I so resonate with the idea of getting completely "into" things and feeling obsessive. I'm not sure I'd call myself a fangirl in the same way, but I definitely obsess over things like homework and scheduling and careers and that's just as damaging. Sometimes it feels like I speak with more passion about potential dissertations and my favorite writers than I do when I talk about Christ. Do I light up with the same fervor and joy? Today a girl in my psychology class asked a few of us what we wanted to do after college. I went off on a long list of grad study plans and she smiled encouragingly. When I asked her, she said, "I just want people to know Jesus." She continued to explain how she hoped to do this, but I was struck by the simplicity of her answer. It should always be that simple. It should always be about Him more than us. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you could relate. :)

      Oh yeah, that's definitely another area where we could get obsessed with the not-eternal and lose sight of what actually is.
      And yes, exactly! I feel the same way. Like, I keyboard-smash over guys that don't even exist, but how often do I get that excited about Jesus? For me, some of that is the fact that I feel like I should be more cool and composed and I've-got-it-all-together when talking about Jesus, but that's /silly/. He /should/ make us JOYFUL and EXCITED, and I'm learning that it is definitely okay to flip out over God's love.

      Wow, that is awesome! And yes, totally. It's okay to have grad plans and it's okay to have fandoms, but our main focus should always be that simple: to get people to know Jesus.

      No problem. Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for sharing your comment! :)

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  4. **Fangirling for God** love this post!!!!

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  5. *applauds loudly* I definitely think mainstream culture gets the wrong idea of Christianity because the Christians who actually follow Jesus don't speak up loud enough to drown out the hypocrites and all the misguided people who represent God like He's a monster. And honestly, I think that it goes beyond just fandom and all that. Like, I totally support what you're saying here and everything. But it's like, if you came across a bunch of people in a burning house (I'm totally borrowing this from someone else), would you worry about whether they'd judge you if you told them to get out because they were going to die if they stayed? It's not just a matter of loving them by telling them they're in danger. If you (or I) don't say anything to them, however kindly and gently or whatever, to clue them into the direness of the situation, we're kinda saying we don't care if they die, so long as we don't get embarrassed.

    Sorry, that maybe sounded kinda ranty? I do love this post though, and it's definitely something I need to work on. I get social anxiety real bad, and I tend to project this "if you look at me I will end you" sort of persona. So, I'm really speaking to myself when it comes to the burning house analogy.

    Anyway, that was kind of rambly. Anyway, great post, and thanks for giving me something to think about. :)

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    1. *nods* I totally agree with you. This is such a wide topic (or kind of two topics? Evangelism and my own inner walk?) that there's no way to cover it in one post (or if you did, it would be very, very long, lol). But this is the part that God's really been working in me lately. :)
      And yeah, that's a great analogy! Like seriously, that's basically what we're projecting to people if we don't share the gospel with them, whether or not we mean to.

      lol, I'm the same, except I think I might be more like a scared little bunny hiding under a rock. :p *sighs* But, in the long run, their souls are way more important than our social anxiety. :)

      A little, but I think I rambled a bit in this post too, hehe. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed and thanks for commenting! :)

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  6. This is something I've thought about before and actually even talked about with my best friend yesterday, sort of. I actually kind of disagree with you sort of—the point my friend and I were discussing was when people say "Oh, the Bible is my favorite book!" And for us, that was a disagreeable point because it was suggesting that the Bible was made to be enjoyed, rather than to be studied for use in the hierarchy of our religion. And it isn't that God doesn't make things for us to enjoy—he would not probably have made potatoes if that were not the case—oh geez I love potatoes—but also I feel like people sometimes screw up how entertainment, literature, and religion relate to one another.

    And I mean, your point about passion is totally spot on. We should totally be passionate Christians. Except usually my passion comes in the form of "PREPARE TO TURN YOUR CHEEK ON ACCOUNT OF I'MA SLAP 'EM BOTH" and really I am a terrible Christian. But when it comes to things like making love exclusive or making people fear Hell instead of love God I get rather annoyed with people and as I said I am not very good at my religion at all whatsoever.

    But at the same time I sometimes struggle between how I feel about religion—that we should be passionate about it for moral and life and relationship and other reasons—and how I feel about being a fangirl—that we should suck the marrow out of life for self-reflective and life and other reasons.

    I am totally rambling. And you're not wrong and I don't think I'm write. My essential point is: I would like if we could be passionate Christians without suggesting that religion is primarily for entertainment or that entertainment is anything more or less valuable than it truly is.

    *nods*

    And, on a note of awkward transition, I tagged you for a thing again: http://semilegacy.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-writers-life-for-me-tag.html

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    1. I get what you're saying and I really hope I didn't come across as saying that Jesus was like a character and Christianity is just a great fandom, lol. I wasn't trying to say that the two were similar, I was just using my love for fandoms as an example of being so passionate about something that it pushes me to action. And I mean if I can be that passionate about something that is, yes, totally awesome, but has no eternal value, then I should be even more passionate about something that is /more/ than awesome and is the /only/ thing with eternal value.

      But yeah, I understand where you're coming from and you're totally right: Christianity and the Bible, they're great things, the BEST things, but they're not for our entertainment (if they were, they'd be a lot easier, lol). And enjoying entertainment in and of itself is not wrong. We shouldn't love those things less; we should just love God more. :)

      And thanks for the tag! I shall do that sometime soon! :)

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  7. Yeeesssssssssssss. Yes. Yes. Same.

    I've been thinking about this for a really long time now, and you summed it up perfectly. In fact, this summer I was pushed and inspired to seek after just that: obsession. And I was. I really, really was. I was so obsessed with this insane satisfaction that I got to the point where books and stuff just kind of became...meaningless. I stopped writing novels as a result (which I talk about at my blog often) as God revealed to me how my dreams were holding me back from Him. It was the greatest decision I've made in the past year. (Not that writing is bad or anything.) I started a blog about how God's power is moving in my life, and I found myself sitting outside in the dark on my back porch simply in absolute /awe/ of the peace that this obsession gave me. There is nothing else like it.

    But, like you, I struggle with social anxiety (among other things) and it holds me back. I fail papers because I'm too afraid to tell my teachers that I was absent that day. I struggle to make and maintain friendships. So when I'm confronted with a question about faith, I flounder because I'm just so scared they'll think I'm stupid or I'll mess up. It's something I'm working on, as I've been trying to ask my librarian for permission to start an I am Second group in the library, but I'm afraid of the possible rejection.

    Okay that ended up being long. But great post! I'll have to stop by again. I'll pray for you as we both work to overcome this barrier. :)


    Sarah
    www.knowingthepower.com

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    1. Thank you! And YES. It really is amazing, the absolute joy and peace you can find in Jesus when you're going completely after Him. :)

      Good for you! And thank you! I'll be praying that you're able to start the group and that Jesus will continue to help us both overcome our anxieties and become completely passionate about Him. :)

      Thanks so much for commenting. :D

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