I have been thinking about commitment this week. I have been keeping a really close eye and ear on discussions this week. I don’t mean discussions in the blogosphere. I mean discussions on television, in the newspapers, on Facebook. I wondered as I listened. Is there a difference to being committed to a cause or position and just having a strong opinion? Of course, we have all heard the expression “put your money where your mouth is”. That certainly happened a lot this week in various venues. But does signing petitions, writing letters to the editor, contributing money, volunteering, even occupying one place or another constitute commitment? I have spent most of my life doing some of the above (but not occupying). Is that commitment?
I saw a poem (entitled Commitment) online. It was on some blogs, on Facebook, and in a Google search. It caused me to really reflect on the meaning and implication of commitment. It told me that commitment in life is essential and what commitment could look like. After reading it and thinking about it, I could see that I AM committed. I am committed to living a life as authentically devoted to God and serving people as I can using the talents, gifts, and strengths that I have. For your edification, here is the poem.
Commitment — by Paul VanDyke of the Mary Kay Corporation
Commitment is when you have inspired yourself into the
sisterhood or brotherhood of the unashamed.
When you possess an innermost spirit and desire
When your die is cast; when your decision has been made.
When you have chosen to step over the line, stand up and be
counted and become a disciple of the determined.
When you won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
When your past has been redeemed, when your present makes sense,
When your future is secure.
When you’re finished and done with low-livin’, light walkin’, small plannin’, smooth knees, dullin’ dreams, tamed vision, mundane talk, cheap givin’ and dwarfed goals.
When you live by faith; when you lean on your strengths;
When you walk with confidence; when you’re lifted by prayer and you’re labored by love.
When your direction is set; when your gait is fast, your goal is real,
your road is rough, your way is narrow, your companions are few,
but your guide is reliable and your mission is clear.
When you cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
When you will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or pause in the presence of procrastination.
When you refuse to negotiate at the table of fear, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
When you won’t give up, let up, or shut up until you’ve staved up,
stored up, prayed up, and paid up, and become the person that
God intended you to be.
What you think about, you bring about.
When you are committed, that’s when you stand out from mediocrity.
When your desire dominates your doubts,
when your performance precedes your procrastination and
When your purpose in life is greater than your problems…
that’s when you have commitment!
Of course, my favorites include: ‘When you won’t give up, let up, or shut up until you’ve staved up, stored up, prayed up, and paid up, and become the person that
God intended you to be’ and ‘what you think about, you bring about; and when your purpose in life is greater than your problems…that’s when you have commitment’.
Sigh…but actually, looking back over the poem a few times—I like almost the whole thing. So, today, I wanted to pass it along to you. The poem isn’t perfect, and is a bit hyperbolic at times….but it helps me distinguish between the shrill/strident in the world and the truly committed. Yes, I should be committed—not strident. Pray for me. I wish you joy, optimism, and lovely days.