Sunday, February 27, 2011

a promise is a promise is a promise

Yes, I am blogging twice in an hour.  This is what I wanted to write about yesterday but did not have the mental capacity or the visual function to coherently communicate.  So here goes. 

Funny story, as told by Jason: (in case you don't know, Jason drives a Pepsi truck.  so this story happened in a roomful of truckers.) I go to work and find out I'm onlight duty and I have to run a truck with Dave.  Of the 3 routes left, one was in my zone and I knew it so I told him to pick that one.  He looked at the routes and the other two had 15 or less stops, and the one I wanted had 20 stops.  He looked at me and asked me, "Are you sure?  That looks like a crappy route."  I said, "I'm very sure.  We'll be back early."  He said, "I have to be back by 4:00...are you really sure?"  I said, "I promise we will be back before 4:00."  And then he hold out his pinky and says, "Pinky swear we'll be back by 4:00!"  And I said, "NO!! MEN DO NOT PINKY SWEAR WITH OTHER MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Psalm 15:1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?

4 Those who ... keep their promises even when it hurts.
Over the last few days, for different reasons, I have been thinking about the word "commitment."  And a few thoughts have surfaced out of the frustration and disappointments of commitments not kept.
1. I am not always good at keeping my commitments.  Sometimes I say I will do something, mostly something Jason asks me to do, but I "forget."  Really, I just get distracted and start doing other things.  Or I'm not really thinking about what I'm agreeing to do, and I really do forget as soon as the conversation ends.  Or I don't really want to do it, but I agree because it's what is expected of me.  Other times I make a personal commitment that no one else knows about, except the Lord of course, since He knows everything.  Or the commitment is actually between He and I.  But still no one else knows about it. 
It's very easy to back out of commitments that are not public or involving anyone else.  But those commitments are no less important than those that are.  And I need to work harder at making less excuses and actually doing what I commit to doing, even if it's not convenient or comfortable.
2. Our culture doesn't value commitment.  This is clearly seen in the staggering divorce rate, even among Christians.  If a couple "isn't happy" or is no longer "in love," divorce is the natural and accepted option.  Instead of trying to work it out or *gasp* sacrificing your desires for someone else, one or both people simply opt out, like it's a cell phone contract or something.  But it's also seen on a smaller scale.  For instance, punctuality seems to be impossible for some people.  But if you make a commitment to be somewhere at 3:00, but you don't arrive until 3:15 or 3:30, with no valid reason, you have essentially said that your time is more valuable than someone else's.  Or that you are simply not responsible enough to manage your time properly.  Regardless, some people have no qualms about being late on a regular basis. (Please understand that I know things happen that are beyond our control at times, like illness, or traffic, or car trouble, or blizzards.  But that's not what I'm talking about.)  Our lack of commitment is also shown in the way people think it's ok to quit something they have committed to because "it's hard," or because they have since made other committments and now find themselves overwhelmed or out of time.  And at that time the more fun or convenient commitment is honored, instead of the one made first. 
Maybe I'm just being overly sensitive, but I really believe that if we make a commitment to something, to someone, or just to ourselves, we need to keep that commitment, even if it hurts.  Because everything we do, or don't do, shows our character and integrity.  I don't know about you, but I want to be known as someone who is trustworthy to do what I say I will do.  Because if I am not trustworthy, who will believe me when I say that God is trustworthy too??

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