It had been a hard week on many fronts when a friend dropped a card on my desk and said, “I thought of you when I saw this.” It read, "The path out of darkness begins with those exasperatingly persistent individuals who are constitutionally incapable of capitulation."
The phrase was the brainchild of Jim Collins. My simpleton version is this: passionate people can do an immense amount of good. They can find light in the midst of darkness and create change where none seems possible. (In case you are wondering, yes, you can substitute “stubborn” for “passionate”.)
These are people like Jacob, who wrestle with God for long hours, declaring, “I will not let you go until you bless me!” These are people like Esther, who stand up against the great unknown, believing perhaps that “who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” These are people like Daniel, Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, who believed so completely in God Almighty and his faithfulfulness that they stood against rulers, nations, those far from and those opposed to God.
This is also the story of Jesus, who brought light into a dark world and would not relent of suffering until he had set his people free. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). His passionate zeal for us — yes, those who have trusted in him and those who have yet to trust in him — brought the path out of darkness. Sin was released; chains were loosed…all because he was incapable of capitulation, unable to surrender to the masses.
I have often wished I weren’t so passionate. It makes for good drama, but frequently the heartache of feeling as though I/we haven’t done enough is overbearing. And yet, what’s the alternative? Submission to the status quo? Acceptance that we can’t initiate change? Belief that our words and deeds won’t make a difference in the end?Each of these is anti-biblical.
The Church of Jesus Christ cannot lay dormant as society pulls us away from biblical truth.
The Church of Jesus Christ is the answer to the world’s problems. Every. Single. One.
The Church of Jesus Christ has been called to be passionate, zealous, awe-struck into action so that the Holy Spirit will create paths out of darkness.
The more I consider Collins’ quote, the more I realize that it’s not passionate people who create great change for the better. It’s God’s children who are enamored with Jesus to the point that they can only surrender to the all-powerful work of the Holy Spirit. He will do it.
Be exasperatingly persistent (re: stubborn), friends, knowing that God wants to change the world — and that he wants to use you, no matter the dark path you face.