I read a book about the impact of childhood memories. The author, a well-known psychologist, wrote that if we recall our three most vivid memories, we’d see who we are. Or, he could describe to us what we’re like…something like that. I’ve given it a lot of thought. For me, traveling back in time always […]
Think about it:
You didn’t ask to be born.
You don’t know exactly where you came from or where you’re going—if anywhere—after you die.
Yet, you’re here. Living in this place and time.
For a reason?
You wonder, Who am I? and Why am I here?
It’s disturbing. We didn’t choose to be alive on planet earth. Yet we sense we have a purpose and are somehow accountable for it. We try to find our purpose and fulfill it.
But suffering detours us. Destroys our plans. Crushes our hearts.
“Be born. Procreate. Die.” And, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” mantras sound easy and…logical. Perhaps we are just a random set of molecules coming and going nowhere. Why not give up believing our lives have meaning?
After all, none of this was up to us in the first place.
Stop and think about it:
What if you stay in the game and continue to pursue your purpose? What do you have to lose?
What if you believe
– God created you and placed you in the particular set of trials and joys that is your life
– And you have a part to play in God’s grand scheme of healing the earth?
– Plus the trials you face can be grist for the mill of ensuring you stay on the path of your purpose? What if suffering can be remixed to purify and prepare you for your finest hour?
If we believe, then we have one thing to do: we must choose who and what to commit to. And live from that commitment.
A professor and social activist weigh in:
“Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to find himself, will lose himself. But whosoever is willing to lose himself for My sake and the sake of the kingdom, will find himself.” … the self is not waiting to be discovered through introspection. The self is waiting to be created through commitment. Commitments define us. Commitments give each of us our identity. And if you have no commitments, you are, says T.S. Elliott, the hollow man, the empty man, the straw man blown to and fro by the wind.”
– Dr. Tony Campolo in his speech, “Committed to Hope.”
“Skepticism is a good and healthy thing…Be skeptical and ask the hard, tough questions about our institutions–especially Washington and Wall Street. But cynicism is a spiritually dangerous thing because it is a buffer against personal commitment. Becoming so cynical that we don’t believe any change is possible allows us to step back, protect ourselves, grab for more security, and avoid taking any risks. If things can’t change, why should I be the one to show courage, take chances, and make strong personal commitments?
But personal commitment is all that has ever changed the world, transformed human lives, and altered history. And if our cynicism prevents us from making courageous and committed personal choices and decisions, the hope for change will fade.”
Inspired by Campolo and Wallis, I grab my journal and title a fresh page: My Commitments
I pray, “God, please show me. What am I to be committed to?”
Anxiety. Overwhelm. I read more from Wallis:
“And this is where faith comes in. Hebrews 11:1 says it best, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ..Hope means believing in spite of the evidence, then watching the evidence change. Faith enables us to act in hope, despite how things look, and that’s what can help make change finally occur and change how things look.”
– Jim Wallis, “The Post-Cynical Christian,” HuffPost Religion, June 20, 2013
Then I write:
1. I’m committed to you, Jesus, as my Vine (John 15), the source of my life.
2. To people—my family and all people everywhere. I’m committed to loving them as You enable and direct me.
3. I’m committed to the message that every person is called to play a part in God’s story of redeeming the planet and it’s people. I stand with you, Jesus, at the doors of peoples’ hearts to coax them open. Open to You and the mission for which you’ve created them.
4. I’m committed to my health—physical, mental, spiritual. Because I am Your vessel.
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What about you—what are your commitments?
Will you set aside cynicism and stoke the fires of faith? Write down your commitments?
Let’s live them.
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photo credit: stock.xchange
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Dear Reader, Thank you for visiting ON FIRE. If you are willing to share your commitments with me, I welcome reading them. My email is: Gloria@gloriarose.com.