Lent Day 12: Passionate Indifference

“The goal, Shawn, is to be passionately indifferent about all things except Jesus.”  Those were the words spoken to me by a spiritual mentor on a three-day silent retreat fifteen years ago.  As I was sitting with the Lord a few mornings ago, He brought those words back to mind.  Being passionately indifferent about all things is about releasing control.  As my mentor went on to explain, often we are either passionate or indifferent about things.  Both extremes can get us into trouble.

As I have thought about these words of wisdom over the years I honestly have had a hard time imagining being passionately indifferent about the things I care most about.  I believe what my mentor was getting at was moving toward the posture that Paul talked about in Philippians 3:8 “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”

Compared to knowing Christ, everything else is in the background.  That means my most cherished relationships, my work, providing for my family, and even participating with the Lord in furthering the Kingdom, are all things that should be in the backdrop compared to knowing Jesus.  Wow, that seems impossible!  How could I develop a passionate indifference to everything else?  I guess that’s what this journey of surrendering everything over to the Lord is about.  I have a long way to go, but I do desire this passionate indifference.

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