However, nothing in this life of any real value can be achieved without commitment. The athlete who wants to excel will have to commit to practicing – a lot! If you chose tennis, you will not have the time for soccer, baseball, football, bowling, track and field, swimming, band, the chess club, painting, poetry, or a thousand other pursuits. If you choose to learn to play the violin well, you will not have the time to learn the trumpet, the flute, the clarinet, the bassoon, the banjo, the harp, and the tuba. The idea that saying “yes” to any of these is really saying “no” to all the rest is ridiculous. No one has enough time for everything, and you will not excel at anything without committing to it. That is also true of relationships. The idea that saying “I do” to one person restricts your chances of saying that to half the population of the world is absurd – as if that (all other men, or all other women) were ever a possibility!
And yet, people say they are “scared” of commitment. But the truth is our commitments don’t confine us, they define us. It is the person who dedicates himself or herself to something who accomplishes things in any field or relationship. It is in saying “yes” to something and discovering and paying the cost, that we become more like God, who is a promise maker and a promise keeper. To put it in language our children can understand, it is about follow-through. When we make a promise (a commitment) and then keep that promise (commitment) then we discover the awesome power of choice that God has granted to us. Yes, he made us free to choose, but until we learn to follow through with those choices (promise making and promise keeping) we will not discover the amazing things which can be accomplished, and only accomplished, through persistence, hard work, and dedication. And it is in so doing, we become people who are persistent, hard-working, and dedicated. Those are the kind of people we all want to be around because they are dependable, reliable, resourceful, and folks who can be counted on: promise makers and promise keepers!
So, it starts early. Did they get a puzzle to work on? Then finish it! Did they join a team? Then go to the practices. Did they promise a friend to go along with them? Then go! It may seem like a small thing, but like the individual snowflakes that are so tiny, when you get enough together, they become an avalanche! There can be no building of character without the ingredient of commitment. And, by the way, as you are teaching them, they can help you, because once you start talking about their follow through, they will hold you accountable to yours! Really, it’s a good thing! Trust me!
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day,
Rev. Kevin Rudolph
Windwood Presbyterian Church