The Rust Belt refers to a northern section of the US comprised of states formerly associated with the steel industry and heavy production hovering on or near the Great Lakes — Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Rust Belt was also known as the Factory Belt.
The Bible Belt runs through the southeastern portion of the U.S. with the “Buckle” of the Bible Belt settling in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama — four states considered to be the most conservative or fundamentally Christian in the country.
Last week this prissy Southern Bible Belt girl found herself in Cleveland, Ohio, which, if you don’t count Pittsburgh, might be the “rustiest’ city in the Rust Belt. It was my first visit to this metropolis touching Lake Erie, and I was thoroughly entertained by all I discovered about the city and the Clevelanders themselves. They are a passionate bunch.
I was surprised to learn that they still love Lebron James, even though he left the Cavaliers to go to the Los Angeles Lakers after winning the Cavaliers their first NBA title in 2016. After all, he’s a local boy — one of their own. In addition to the Cavs, they are also avid fans of the Cleveland Browns (in spite of a lackluster record) and the Cleveland Indians (who are currently at the top in the American League standings, central division). Go, Tribe!! I got to see the Indians in action against the Baltimore Orioles, along with a packed house of enthusiastic, hot dog-eating fans. Friday nights are $1 dog nights at Progressive Field. You might want to make a note of that information tidbit.
Clevelanders are proud of the famous people who were born in their town — Halle Berry, Paul Newman, Bob Hope, Cy Young, Tim Conway, to name a few, and, of course, James Garfield, the 20th President of the United States. The Garfield Monument at Lake View Cemetery is stunningly beautiful.
Cleveland’s Museum of Art houses more than 45,000 pieces in its collection, and they represent some of the most famous artists ever known. You can spend several spellbound hours gazing at the unbelievable displays, and it’s absolutely FREE to the public!! There is passionate support in Cleveland in order to provide residents and visitors with such a privilege.
Perhaps my favorite of Cleveland’s treasures is its outstanding symphony. The Cleveland Symphony, always ranked among the Top 5 in the country and recently mentioned as #1, just celebrated its 100th anniversary as an organization. I had the chance to hear them at their Blossom Music Center, the orchestra’s summer home. The orchestra has a passionate following, as evidenced by the fact that I listened completely enthralled along with approximately 10,000 others — many of whom were sitting in lawn chairs on the grassy knoll outside of the large amphitheater and pavilion area. The precision, the skill, but mostly the sound captured and mesmerized me. If I lived in Cleveland, I’d do whatever I could to attend every concert. The passion was completely understandable.
I was in Cleveland with 7 other travel writers from around the country, but I was the only one from Alabama. They laughed as I tried to turn them into Auburn fans, explaining that in the State of Alabama allegiance to either Auburn or Alabama is practically required at birth. After all, isn’t that what many of US are passionate about?
The whole trip led me to think a lot about passion and what my passions are. Isn’t it a good thing to be a passionate person? But, am I passionate ENOUGH about the things that truly matter.
I found this thought in JollyNotes.com – “Daily Inspiration for Joyful Living.”
Dear Friends, We need passion to survive. We need passion to thrive! Passion is a wonderful motivator to live life abundantly and to the fullest. On the other hand, the passion for the wrong things can destroy us (God forbid!). I am praying that God will ignite and develop a passion in us for everything in line with His ultimate purpose for our lives, and remove the passion for anything and everything that is not in His purpose for us. May we live passionate, joyful, and fulfilling lives – to the glory of God.
I like that, don’t you? Lives without passion are colorless. Having passion for the things of God, though, will bring us to life — deep, satisfying life.
Here are some Bible verses that point me toward more passion:
1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Matthew 6:21 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Romans 12:10-11 – “ Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”
Psalm 84:2 – “My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.”
Psalm 27:4 – “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”