Have you ever been passionate – I mean really passionate – about something? Anything? I’ve said before that I am passionate about writing, but I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think I’ve ever even come close.
There’s a story I’ve heard told about Socrates. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but here goes:
A young man approaches Socrates and says, “Socrates, I want knowledge.”
Socrates looks at the guy and replies, “Follow me.”
They walk down to the seashore and into the water. Socrates asks, “OK, now what did you want?”
“I want knowledge,” the guy says, nonchalantly. Socrates then plunges the man into the water and holds him there for 30 seconds. He pulls the guy out and asks, “Now, what did you want again?” The young man sputtered a little and then said, “I want knowledge.”
Socrates again dunks the guy – this time holding him under the water for 45 seconds. He pulled him up and says, “Tell me, what do you want?”
“Knowledge! I want knowledge!” The man was surprised, and becoming frustrated when Socrates pushed him under the water yet again. This time, he held the man under for a minute… and then two minutes. The man began to struggle and fight and finally he came up gasping and coughing.
Socrates asked: “What do you want?”
Without pause, the man screamed, “AIR! I WANT AIR! Please, just let me have air!”
Socrates looked at him and said, quietly, “When you long for knowledge the way that you were just desperate for air… then you’ll be ready to find it.”
Passion cannot dwell in us until we become fully aware of our soul’s desperate neediness.
I do not have any answers. Just questions. Just… challenges as you sit at your desk, in your office, at home, on the couch, in bed or even in your car on the way to lunch…
What’s important to you? What makes you happy? What makes you yearn?
Have you ever come face to face with passion? Have you ever been made fully aware of your soul’s desperate neediness?