I don't know about you but when it comes to the subject of romantic comedies I can't say I'm much of an expert. When your favourite movies range from Gladiator to Saving Private Ryan you can understand why I don't often frequent a good old rom com.
However, one rom com I do like or at least remember perhaps because of what I'm about to tell you is actually not a bad way to spend 93 minutes (yes I looked that up) is the movie Serendipity. The movie tells the story of two meant-to-be-togethers who keep missing chances to fall in love. Thankfully after many twists and turns (spoiler alert) they end up together in circumstances you might say are very serendipitous.
John Cusack's best mate happens to have the unusual job of writing obituaries for a large newspaper in New York. At one point in the movie where he is attempting to persuade his heartbroken friend to do whatever he can to find the woman he keeps missing out on he explains, "You know the Greeks didn't write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: 'Did he have passion?'."
I have no idea whether this is true and wouldn't wish truth to spoil a good illustration, but, for whatever reason, I've always remembered this.
Did he have passion? What a question!
Will people after I'm gone think, "Andy lived with passion"? Passion for his wife. Passion for his daughter. Passion for his friends. Passion for his work. Passion for his hobbies.
And I really wonder... Passion for his God.
I often wonder why it is I love movies like Braveheart, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan and, of course, Disney classics like Lion King. They all have one thing in common: a central storyline which is one of passion! Passion to see Scotland free, or an evil emperor stopped, or a lost son found by a loving father (Finding Nemo). These movies show passionate characters living lives passionately.
I believe with all my heart God made us to be passionate and, most specifically, to be passionate about Him. 1 Corinthians 10:31 states: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God". I read this and it inspires me that in every area of my life I can be passionate for God and bring Him glory.
We see most keenly in young people the desire that life not be wasted, to live each day as if it's your last, to run not walk, to take risks, to speak up and stand up for what you believe matters.
I believe that desire is placed within us all and can only be truly satisfied when we find a passion for God, for in Him we find the highest of beings, purposes and plans.
I wonder what are you passionate about? What would you wish to be remembered for?
As we look at the topic of passion over the next few weeks at church I hope and pray we all might find new passions arising, passions to see peace where there's strife, light where there's darkness, with the greatest of all passions being kindled and growing: a passion for Jesus.