Through conversation with several friends today, I was reminded of the lack of commitment in our American culture, and even in my own mindset. Specifically, we were discussing commitment to a local church and to a job. How people who do commit, and put in the time and investment and influence people are generally hard to find. However, when they do exist, they stand out, due to their uncommon, and magnetic characteristics.
So often our mindset is to “keep your options open” as much as possible. Keeping your options open is to be prized above all else. Red flags go on in our minds when we think about anything that will narrow our options, or that we don’t have an easy way out of.
Committing and investing in something that is good is difficult when the thought that something seemingly better may come up later. I think it says a lot when someone is participates in building something from the ground up, rather than just jumping into an already existing all-star team.
It always impresses me when someone has committed to, and been faithful in something, and, although it may seem like they are more talented and should move on to a bigger pond, they have become an anchor of sorts in their little pond, and make a world of influence right where they are.
I was also reminded of a conversation a year ago with someone who coordinates college graduates to join a 1-2 year ministry job, who told me of how difficult it is to convince 21 & 22 year olds to commit to even a year. He had mentioned how the mindset of most in their early 20’s (such as myself) is to hesitate to commit to anything “that long”. It’s so interesting how at different stages of life (it seems?) the view of time changes. My dad always talks about how time flies by so quickly. Even during my 4 years of college, and my 1 year after college, it seems like time goes by increasingly quicker each year. I’ve known a particular man to tell college seniors, “view the next 20 years of your life as training. Your 40’s are the most effective years for most people.” While he’s not saying that you can’t make an impact during your 20’s and 30’s, I think his point very much speaks into the thought for most of us in our 20’s that there is an extreme sense of urgency and lack of time. (let me also say that I’m not saying to not live with a sense of urgency, and to seek to “not waste your life”)
Vague thoughts, but just processing some thoughts on commitment…and being like a thermostat, rather than a thermometer.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-9