I was talking with a young couple whose wedding I am officiating at in February. We were talking about commitment…to each other, to their marriage, to God, to their future. We talked about how important it is to be intentional about their life together, setting their goals for the future and what they want their marriage to look like five, ten, thirty years from now.
In Stephen Covey’s book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he says that one of the first habits we need to learn is to “begin with the end in mind.” Someone once said, “More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin.” If I want something to happen in the future, then I better start working on it right now. If the couple I was talking to want to buy a home five years from now, they better start saving now. If they want their marriage to be strong and lasting, they better start now and commit themselves to doing those things every day that will keep it alive and growing.
The nature of commitment is in staying the course, going the distance, failing and getting up again, continuing forward. The question is: What are you committed to? Sometimes I think we mistakenly commit ourselves to the outcome without committing ourselves first to the process. For example, I know a gentleman who has talked for years about a book he is going to write. It’s going to be a best seller and make him a lot of money. But he hasn’t even written the first chapter! He’s committed to the outcome before being committed to the process. The process would be sitting down and putting something down on paper. That’s the commitment. Outcome is all about “getting there.” Process is all about “being here.” But only by committing ourselves to the process can we arrive at the outcome.
So again I would ask, “What are you committed to?” A great start is to ask yourself, “What is the one thing that would upset me if, at the end of my life, I do not attempt, do, or complete?” As humans we often sit around thinking of what we are going to do, working out details in our mind and after years of thinking, well, we are still…thinking. Sometimes we just have to begin. Maybe we won’t hit a home run every time we get up to swing, but that’s the only way we can create the possibility of a run. Our commitment is to go through the process even though we may not get the perfect outcome every time. Sooner or later, we’re going to get the perfect ball, run past third base, and make the run. All because we got up to the plate and took hold of the bat.
That is commitment. That is what it takes to make something happen. We have to show up. In fact, our only job is to show up and continue showing up. Put one foot in front of the other and stay the course. Even if we don’t know if we’re doing it right; even if we don’t know if we’ll ever get there; even if we don’t know where it will lead.
The most important things is that we’re willing to find out.
If you want a good biblical example, look at the Apostle Paul. He certainly didn’t have an easy go of it but he was committed to the process of doing what he believed God wanted him to do and in the end, at the outcome, he was able to say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me on that day.”
Now, why don’t you commit yourself to having an absolutely wonderful, fulfilling and beautiful day!?
You are loved,