A Passion for All that Is Good

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by Commissioner David Edwards –

The supermarket where my wife and I shop for our groceries has just reopened after being closed for a month for major renovations. It used to be owned by the Hughes chain. Ralphs acquired it about a year ago

I cannot help but marvel at the changes that have been made to this supermarket. Every time I go through the door, I want to say “Wow.” It is simply amazing. The place looks most definitely different from the one we knew up to a month before.

Even without adding one square foot to the building, it seems as though they have added more floor space. The aisles are much wider. There seem to be many more shelves. It is much easier to locate what you are looking for. There is much easier access to the in-store subsidiaries, such as the pharmacy, the postal agency, the bank, etc.

Not only does the place look different–so do the staff and employees. They look and behave most definitely different. They are quite excited and seem genuinely interested in helping. The whole atmosphere says, “you, the customer, are welcome anytime.” No wonder the parking lot is full whatever time of the day you get there. I get the impression that people just find some excuse to go shop there these days.

The vision that inspired the changes

From the first time that I entered the supermarket following the re-opening I could not help trying to determine what it was that could have inspired this amazing change. It had to be some kind of vision, I thought to myself. I wondered what it was. The changes were so astounding; they went beyond mere economics yet they seemed to me to make sound business sense. People just seem to shop at Ralphs Fresh Fare. It had to be vision, especially in these days. Vision being the “in” thing.

Sure enough it was. I saw it, while standing at the checkout ­ A PASSION FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD. It was everywhere I looked–this phrase. It was on the little separators they used to make sure the person in front does not pay for your groceries. It was emblazoned on the bags–both paper and plastic. It was on signs all around the store–A PASSION FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD. I was right after all. A vision like that would certainly inspire those dramatic changes that we had seen both in the place and in the attitudes of the people serving you.

A pursuit to which one is deeply devoted

This word “passion” also appears in the territorial vision statement. It speaks about “reawakening the passion.” I understand that the word has created a few problems for some of our translators who had to translate the vision statement into other languages. I understand that in some languages the word translated as “passion” is the same word used for “lust.”

Even in the English language, for some people that is the picture that the word “passion” creates–strong, overwhelming sexual desire. In fact, the Hawaii and Pacific Islands Division had as its theme for the family camp this year “From Here to Eternity” as they used the occasion to introduce the Territorial Vision. While this might seem quite consistent with Vision2000 and beyond… what really inspired them to use this title from the movie as their theme were recollections of the passionate scenes between the stars filmed on the beaches of Honolulu.

For someone to be passionate about something simply means that we hold very strong feelings towards what ever it is. Something for which one has a passion simply means some pursuit to which one is deeply devoted.

A passion for the lost

We state in the Territorial Vision that “As a people of God, our priority will be fulfillment of the Great Commission, beginning right in the community where he has placed us. We will boldly seek the lost, making disciples and striving to enlist soldiers who publicly commit to radical obedience to Christ”

Our friends at Ralphs Fresh Fare have chosen to have as their vision for their supermarket “A passion for all that is good.” This is their pursuit to which they are deeply devoted. Under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit we have chosen to have as our vision A PASSION FOR SOULS. This is the pursuit to which we are deeply devoted. This has always been our vision.

This has always been our passion. Where we have lost sight of the vision, I pray that we will recapture it. If we have lost our passion, I pray that we will reawaken it.

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