Monday, February 9, 2009
This morning I woke up thinking about the commitments we make.

Or maybe I should say the commitments we break.

Not that I’ve broken any commitments lately. I mean, I’d have to make a commitment before I can break one.

And maybe that’s a problem.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about this morning.

Breaking commitments stinks. I don’t like it when I let people down. I don’t like it when I make my wife cry because something I promised to do didn’t get done. I’m sure she likes it even less. I know I really don’t like it when people who make promises to me fail to keep them.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

It seems that my response, and the response of others, is to not make any promises. I can’t fail to bring milk home if I never said I would. I can’t fail to pick my wife up from work if I never agree to do it. I can’t fail to complete the assignment if I never commit to doing it in the first place.

So we make as few commitments as possible. We don’t commit to a church. We don’t commit to God. The only reason we commit to our employer is because we have to. We make few, if any, commitments with our spouses, if we’ve even committed to being married. We promise nothing so that we can keep all our promises.

And I can’t help but think this is all about my convenience. It is so much easier to make no promises than to work hard to keep one. It is inconvenient for me to say, “no” to one thing because I’ve said, “yes” to something else. And what if that thing I might have to say no to is something I’d much rather do over the thing I’ve said yes to out of obligation.

Commitments get in the way. So there are times when I make none.

But is that the right step to take?

Should we settle for being a people of no commitments for the sake of being people of our word?

Can I even call that keeping my word?

And I wonder how God feels about all this.

How do you think it makes Him feel when He sees His people drifting along with no commitments, no attachments, free to do whatever because they are in no way committed to anything?

I can’t help but think it makes Him sad? Especially, since He would promise great things and then do them. He made a promise to Abraham and then kept it. God didn’t have to make a promise. One day Sarai could have conceived and little probably would have changed. But God one day took Abram and made a promise with him. And then years later it was fulfilled.

God makes promises and so I think it makes him sad when we make none.

But then again I could be wrong.

Next my thoughts began to drift towards being a man. You know, a manly man. I’m sure you’ve probably heard about them. Maybe you are one, or you are related to one. I am far from being your traditional manly man. I have no idea what’s going on under the hood of my car. A roll of duct tape lasts me years. I don’t like to get dirty. And sometimes I’m too tired to stand when I pee, so I sit down.

But I’m still a man.

As men, we make a lot out of being men of our word. It goes along with all that honour stuff we see in the old movies and hear our fathers talk about. It used to be that real mean shook hands on stuff and then it happened. If they were really serious they would spit in their hands first.

However, now it’s far more convenient for me to skip all that. Thus being a man became about living for myself.

Wait, that can’t be right.

But isn’t that what we’re communicating? That a real man does whatever makes him happy? That’s our subtle message isn’t it? Real men do things such as living alone in the wilderness, or they go out as a lone ranger, or become an army of one. I mean, how much help did the “Super” Man need?

It seems the manliest men don’t make personal commitments.

But am I more of a man when I make no commitments and let no one down, or am I more of a man when I commit to things and complete as many of them as I can? It is certainly harder work

Am I a real man when I do what is easy or when I do the hard things such as commit to things and then do them?

I’d love it if we recaptured more of that honour: if being a man meant you had to commit to stuff and then do it.

However, I don’t think the solution is to simply commit to more. We need to commit to better.

So where do we start? What is the first thing I should commit to?

Wow, that was a lot of questions to have rattling around in my head before I even finished my shower.