My children to do not understand why the song “Good Night Elizabeth” by the Counting Crows is my favorite song. According to iTunes I have listened to it about 300 times in the last few years. Now, before you run out and listen to it you need to know a few things. First, the Counting Crows are a band who was popular in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Their songs are usually non-sense with references to other songs they had written and various cultural events of the time. Then in each song they give you one line or one verse of deep meaning. The second verse of this song says,

We couldn’t all be cowboys
So some of us are clowns
Some of us are dancers on the midway
We roam from town to town
I hope that everybody can find a little flame
Me, I say my prayers, then I just light myself on fire
And I walk out on the wire once again.

This one verse touches my soul because it describes my life perfectly. Every week I say my prayers. Then I light myself on fire figuratively speaking and walk out onto the stage. Maybe this verse touches me because I heard a statement in Bible college from a professor who said about his preaching, “Each week I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” The reality is still there that every time I preach I put all of my emotions, my ideas and my beliefs on display.

Some weeks it is a small campfire on the stage and some days I light a bonfire in my soul. Yesterday was one of those days. I had practiced my sermon repeatedly in private with no real emotion. Once I started preaching, my passion for this topic took over. I noticed my voice getting louder and louder. I felt my heart race faster and faster. Then when I was done I felt this enormous crash.

I went and sat in my office thinking, “I hope I didn’t scare the visitors today.” Then I thought, “I hope that people didn’t think I was mad at them.” Finally, “Why did you I get so excited anyway?”

My conclusion is simple. This is a topic I am very passionate about. I see way too many Christian who just added Church to their list of things to do and have not transformed their thinking about life. My passion for this topic and my passion for people to experience all that God has in store for them collided in a loud forceful sermon.

I am still not sure how the sermon was received, especially by our guests. [I am not looking for a pat on the back or a kind comment here.] I am simply hoping that the one thing everyone sees clearly is that I have a deep passion to see people’s lives transformed by Jesus. In case you missed it, next week I will light myself on fire and walk out on the wire once again.

One thought on “Passionate

  1. hey matt,
    I loved your sermon yesterday. Each Sunday I feel like your talking to me. It’s funny because I would like everyone to be on fire for God and their own salvation, but I really get passionate when I am trying to get my husband to understand what’s happening inside of me.

    Still hasn’t happened yet. Saturday night when i was trying to explain to him, my voice got louder and louder, and when I said “As long as my reactions are lining up with the word of God, i just have to say “Oh Well” and move on; he rolled his eyes at me and I really felt offended. I burst into tears saying “don’t you react at me like that” lining my decisions up with God’s word is how I am going to make all my decision from now on. Of course he tried to tell me that he didn’t roll his eyes…but he did.

    Later that night I found myself literally exhausted and collapsed into bed early.

    I think “passionate” for God may be the way to describe what’s happening inside of me.
    I like you will keep “putting myself on fire” with him until he starts paying attention to me.

    Your friend in Christ,
    Debbie Hill

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