All true passion is born out of anguish

All true passion is born out of anguishDavid Wilkerson

As some of you know, I have been battling a serious bone infection in my pelvis for about 90 days now. I have never known this kind of pain, this kind of anguish. As I was driving home from the doctor’s office the other day, I happened upon a Christian preacher giving a sermon that caught my attention. He was talking about how true passion comes from anguish and it brought me to tears. The preachers name was David Wilkerson.

David Ray Wilkerson was an American Christian evangelist, best known for his book The Cross and the Switchblade. He was the founder of the addiction recovery program Teen Challenge, and founding pastor of the non-denominational Times Square Church in New York. David Wilkerson was killed in a car crash in Texas on April 27, 2011. Wilkerson’s sermon, “A Call to Anguish,” is very direct and frank, and may offend some. If it offends you, I apologize in advance, but the message about passion and anguish is too strong to ignore. Here is the link to the video/audio sermon on Youtube.

Most great movements in our society and most inspirational individual walks have been born in anguish. Transformation (metamorphosis) happens when our pain is overwhelming. Anguish, suffering, agony, grief, sorrow and angst … that comes from our spirit being tested. Often the loss of something or someone dear to you creates real, gut-wrenching anguish. The kind you feel down to the soles of your feet (tears from a hardened old football coach). Through our anguish, we become so convicted that we can’t help but change. We are compelled to transform our anguish into passion.

I look around me today though and I don’t see much passion. Our society has gone soft, we are basically a bunch of apathetic babies who want to be soothed and coddled, and I am not just talking about the kids. I don’t think anguish is even in most people’s vocabularies. The philosophies of Individualism (What’s in it for me?), Hedonism (If it feels good, do it!), Minimalism(I’m going to do just enough to get by), Relativism (There are no “truths”), and Materialism(Whoever dies with the most toys wins), dominate all facets of our society. To reverse this trend, it is going to take people with more than simple “concern” about the problem. It’s going to take people with passion. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t get passion at an “on-going educational training seminar”. I have people tell me every day that they understand what’s going on with our kids now a days and are very concerned about it. What are they going to do about it? ….nothing. The situation hasn’t caused them any anguish, therefore no passion, therefore no impactful action.

Can you empathize with these people who are passionate about saving America’s youth?

  • The mother of a teen who recently committed suicide.
  • The father of a teen who was killed by gunplay as an innocent bystander.
  • The parents of a teen mother.
  • The parents of a high school student drop out.
  • The mother of a 12 year old arrested for assault.
  • The father of a 13 year old arrested for abusing prescription drugs.

My passion for helping kids was born from the sorrow, grief, and anguish of a medical condition back in 2001. God wanted to change the direction of this prideful, stubborn, pig headed coach and businessman. He had to put me on my knees (literally) to get my attention. Now, for the second time in my life, he is using anguish to prepare me for what I believe will be a new path. It must be an important mission judging from the amount of anguish he is using. I eagerly wait for the day when I can move out of anguish and passionately use what I’ve learned for His purpose.

Anguish, it’s not something most of us want to think about, but be thankful for it. It probably made you who you are today, and could be the instrument for who you will be in the future.