I mentioned Mark Sanborn’s new book, The Encore Effect last week. I’ve got another gem from his book about living with passion. Mark tells about John Wesley (p. 47), who was the cofounder of what eventually became the Methodist Church. John Wesley was such a powerful speaker that before long, large crowds would gather to hear him. Someone once asked Wesley how he was able to create such encore performances that impacted so many people, and his response was, “I simply set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” Now that’s passion!
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I’ve never heard that quote. Love it! Going through college, a few educators told us poor and starving fine art students to “do what you love.” Wesley certainly had a love, or maybe a hatred for the all-consuming gift of his talents, for God! (A Wesley historian could comment better.) He took his gift from God and spread it all through the old and new world. He held to strict standards and expected the utmost from those that followed him and called themselves Methodists while working a balancing act of politics within the Anglican church.
As a Methodist in Salt Lake City, Utah, I constantly work toward a life filled with service, presence, gifts, and prayer. It is following this radical Wesley that I have inspiration in my daily life to have high integrity and personal and community values. It is because of people like Wesley and my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, that I am able to put one foot in front of the other. If I fall, they and the power of God will pick me up and help me on. What a wonderful thing to have, the Holy Spirit, the fire that burned Wesley. It may be just a spark compared to him, but that works for me, and I praise God for it!