Creating Passion

For some reason, the streets and sidewalks weren’t as slick as I was expecting this morning, which allowed for safer shoveling. Thank goodness we didn’t get any more snow than we did. As I’ve said, a little a lot, is better than getting dumped on by one big snowstorm with many inches.

With it being Sunday morning, I went back to my little darkened corner for my spiritual exercise which lasted longer than usual, and the reason for it, was my having a more deepened prayerful experience. Perhaps it being all the more quiet outdoors, allowed for better concentration and focus.

Every time I walk out, I always feel metaphysically refreshed which has helped greatly in these tumultuous times. I’m sure all of you can agree that nearly every day we turn on the news channels, and there’s one more jaw-drop.

One of today’s has been troubling me since reading about them this morning, and it being yet another group of “militias” which call themselves “Oath Keepers”. Thus far, I now know of three groups, which makes me wonder how many more there’re out there.

As I’ve said a very many times, our social medias are near-fully to blame for this rise in tribalism because the more easily you can find like-minded people, the more a group’s “members” grow, and especially when given the feeling of belonging to a “real” cause. Unfortunately, our digital age has left many feeling un-connected to something greater, and since main-line religions are falling by the wayside, there usually has to be something else to fill those voids.

One thing I’ve noticed about the Evangelicals, is how they make sure their followers are fully engaged with their communities of faith to the point where they create even more bonds outside the walls of their churches. It sort of reminds me of how those country churches which used to dot North Iowa’s countrysides prior to 1900 where those farm families were not only religiously connected, but also engaged the other six days of the week. If you’d ever go back and look at some of those old black and white photos of country church gatherings, you’d see crowds of every age pictured. Yes, those were like-minded and deeply rooted connections which were generational. My how our times have changed.

Speaking of churches, tonight’s photo is one I took yesterday morning of the Old Stone Church in Rock Falls which was built somewhere around 1867. The few times I’ve driven past it, It’s always reminded of those little churches you’d find in small villages in Europe.

Can you imagine the manual labor it took to build those stone walls back in those years? Certainly the stone was quarried out of the nearby Shell Rock river’s limestone outcroppings, but to think all of it was done by hand which would’ve included the sizing of the stones, mixing up the mortar, and painstakingly laying all of them one at a time. Now that’s what I consider determination on the most primitive of levels.

I’ve never been inside it, but it appears to have tall ceilings and sky-high windows. It’s too bad they don’t get rid of those nasty vines crawling up its walls because those things are not good for its mortar joints. Since it’s entrance is almost at street level, I doubt it has a basement. The tower on it certainly isn’t its original, so what I’d do, is find an old photo and have a replica of it re-created.

You would think some of those people belonging to that Methodist Church would get together and do some real sprucing up on it, and then offer its use for inter-denominational weddings and possibly small funerals. We all know how many of our soon-to-be wed young couples are always looking for something on the boutique side, and since it’s so close to our City, I’m sure if the word got out, they’d have weddings scheduled there every weekend. But as I said, I’ve not been inside it, so perhaps it needs more cosmetics than I’m thinking which means there’d have to be a fund drive.

Not too many weeks ago, a dear friend of mine mentioned how he’s a bit envious of me because I seem to have a passion with all the many things I’m involved in, and then saying how he can’t think of one project outside of his work which would create any sort of similar passion. It bothered me a little after hearing his words, but I just left it go at the time. You can be sure the next encounter I have with him, I’ll have a few of my own thoughts to share regarding his passionless state of mind.

I’m developing the mindset that most who think they have no passion in life, are likely looking at some sort of Divine inspiration where there’ll be miraculously fired-up and go on to become world-renowned painters or sculptors. Unfortunately, that’s really not what my definition of passion is.

There’s never been a time in my life where I felt passionless because no matter what I stick my nose into, I start off with the idea that when I’m finished, it’ll be the best possible job done, and no matter if it’s my real estate work, my little/big jobs, the music I share, and even down to the point where I’m cleaning up a mess someone else has left.

With that said, I believe such mindsets must look at having a passion in life beginning in small scales to where whatever they touch, be it animate or inanimate, and looking at it as an opportunity to make a positive and lasting mark, and then walking away knowing they’ve made our world more beautiful, which in the end, creates more passion within themselves. Wouldn’t you say that would be a good start at creating passion?

Tonight’s One-liner is: What delights us in visible beauty, is the invisible.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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