Prioritizing Your Passions

(Original Disney-inspired artwork by Selma Komisky)

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Prioritizing Your Passions
Lessons Learned from Remy and Alfredo Linguini in ‘Ratatouille’

By Jasmin Patterson

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? What were the little quirks in your personality, the games you loved to play that shed light on how you’re wired in interest and skill? Who did you watch do their “thing” that made you aspire to something similar one day?

Romans 12:6 tells us that you and I have passions and gifts placed in us by God as part of our unique design. And you know what? So did a cute little rat named Remy. Well…Remy’s a fictional character in Disney’s “Ratatouille,” so maybe his gifts didn’t quite “come from God,” but you get my point. The rat loved to cook! He was passionate about food.

At first, Remy’s family misunderstands his talents. His dad makes him use his knowledge of food and keen sense of smell to tell whether the trash they’re eating contains rat poison or not. You can tell from Remy’s countenance that his heart doesn’t exactly come alive doing that.

Remy really starts to thrive when he finally finds a true outlet for his passion. He fully embraces his gift for cooking when he stumbles into the famous French restaurant, Gusteau’s. It’s there that he becomes the secret weapon of a kitchen worker named Alfredo Linguini by helping the garbage boy turned struggling chef make a name for himself in the kitchen.

Sometimes we’re made to feel that embracing our talents and pursuing our passions is trivial or secondary to real life responsibilities and important work we have to do. Sometimes we lose sight of those innate desires we discovered as kids or the activities that refresh our souls as adults. I’d suggest that making space in your life for your passions is a vital part of your emotional and mental health. We learn from both personal testimonies and psychology articles that hobbies and passion projects can help us manage time, deal with stress, build new relationships, and foster a sense of purpose.

I’ve experienced this myself. It’s amazing how taking even an hour to do something I enjoy, like playing music, watching a show, or discipling a college student can help me rest from the grind of responsibilities and rejuvenate my heart when things feel mundane. Investing in my areas of passion and craft have even helped me navigate seasons of depression and anxiety.

Pursuing your passion might take on the form of a career path or ministry and it’s amazing when that happens. However, it doesn’t only have to be about job descriptions or making money. Simply enjoying your hobbies is a completely legitimate way to keep your passions in life at the forefront of your priorities. There’s a whole range of ways you can do that! From walking in nature and watching movies to studying science. From teaching people the Bible, to serving community projects, to launching a business or creative endeavor.

Life presents us with so many reasons not to pursue our passions in life. We might be misunderstood by family and friends. Busy schedules make it challenging to invest time in our passions but let me encourage you that the fight is worth it.

What would it take for you to fight for your passions? Do you need an encouraging word letting you know that what makes your heart come alive isn’t silly or trivial but an essential, God-given passion worth investing in? If so, I hope this talk does that for you. Do you need to schedule time for your hobbies to make them a priority? I know I need to do that. Maybe you need to start looking for outlets to engage those gifts and passions at church, in your community, or just in your free time.

I hope you learned a lesson from Remy. When you embrace your passions, you’re embracing a part of who God made you to be. God can use that to bring some much-needed joy and recreation to your own life, and even to contribute something meaningful to the world too.

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