Commitment is not a theory; it is the continuing fruition of a dream.
The word commitment is the realization that choices in life matter. As a young girl, about 10 years old, a teacher told our class that when we were older we would be just the same as we were now. That one pronouncement caused me to ponder my life and decide I wanted to be more than I was at 10 years old. Slowly but surely I sift through thoughts and actions and constantly learn what the flashing sign – COMMITMENT – means to me.
When I was in high school, Mother gave me green onion plants to plant them in the garden. The rich soil was easy to work in, as I knelt, and placed each plant into its place. Pretty soon the monotony became almost more than I could handle. It was then the neighbor girl came to watch. “You just keep on keepin’ on.” Then she left for ‘greener pastures’ of activity. Her words stung and stayed with me. So often I saw later that ‘keep on keepin’ on’ provides promise. It is working toward a goal. Staying on a path. Moving forward.
The philosophy of ‘Keep on keepin’ on’ implies serving. Serving the Lord is the highest calling we have. Serving is worshiping the Lord and it is difficult to remember in the weakness of the flesh, when complaints find voice. There are many ways of serving. Ephesians 6:7 – Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.
As a young mother, the words my young friend said, came back to haunt me, as I cared for our four children. How many cloth diapers did I change (not disposable), but to be laundered over and over? How many mornings did I make Cream of Wheat for our four children as they watched? Days upon days those words came back to me. “Keep on keepin’ on.”
Shortly after the birth of our fourth child, our three sons sat at the table for breakfast. I looked up from preparing breakfast and saw three pairs of eyes watching me. Their eyes pierced my heart as I realized the responsibility God had given me to care for these little ones. They depended on me for nurture, for food, for guidance, for being strong even when I felt weak, for comfort and encouragement. (Encouragement, not only then when our children were young, but for a life time.)
While living in Indiana, the washing machine (no dryer, but we owned a washing machine) broke down. The five piles of laundry on the floor stared back at me, and grew into the size of five Mount Everests. There were no Laundromats then. I spent most of the day – bent over the scrub board in the bathtub, and scrubbed until my hands were almost raw and certainly ‘pruned’ as I washed the clothes for the family.
Did I consider walking away from my family? No. Commitment – was engrained in my being. Commitment is follow-through. It is not just a dream or vision, but steadfast commitment in the heart is followed by action that is soul-deep. It is being dependable, dependable, trustworthy, faithful, focused and fixed on one’s path.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Always ineffectiveness. W.H. Murray.
Choosing the path to follow and allowing that commitment to grow is the hard part. Sometimes the path of diligence and truth looks less alluring than world success and adulation. It is then, when I most need assurance, that I hear a voice from the past quoting this verse: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (Thanks, Mom! Your comfort and encouragement reaches down from Heaven!)
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Proverbs 4:26
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! Philippians 1:4
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
I Peter 5:10