We all have commitments in our lives.
Some of them are easier to keep than others, but all commitments take some effort and work...that is an important difference between an interest and a commitment.
You have commitments. Commitments to your self, your family, your relationships, your work, your neighborhood, your spiritual life, etc.
And each of these commitments in our lives have a spectrum of being easy to keep and being difficult to keep. Some days we are happy to exercise and eat well, and some days we are not.
An important difference in what makes it hard or easy to keep our commitments is whether or not we are going it alone or if we have someone encouraging us toward our commitment.
Every once in a while we have commitments in which we have some help...in which we have an encourager...where we have a cheerleader.
This week's scriptures give us some examples of encouragement being offered to those making and keeping commitments to their faith in God.
We see the Psalmist offering his experience as encouragement to others whose belief in God might be challenged by the tests and difficulties they run in to as they face life.
In John we see (for Christians) one of the more encouraging encouragements from the mouth of Jesus himself. He promises that if we love him and keep his commandments, we will not be left alone. He assures us God will send The Spirit of Truth to be with us to support and protect us.
In Acts we see Paul offering encouragement to folks as they are pondering becoming followers of Jesus. From their place of believing religiously in something, he is encouraging them to consider the power of believing in ONE thing, a single God of creation of whom they are offspring, in relationships with Jesus Christ.
And in the letter shared with the early church under the name of Peter, we see some loving and gentle instruction as to how they might behave in the world in light of their new commitment to Jesus.
Commitment is so much harder when we go it alone - when we rely upon our own selves, our own strength, our own story. But we can be encouraged and can be encouragers. Perhaps this is the most important role of community in our lives. In what ways are you inviting your community into your commitments?
God of Creation, of Sustenance, of Presence,
I want to be committed to things that matter.
Help me to not be alone in my commitments.
Help me to hear the encouragement
of the world around me
and lean into the arms of those
who will help me stay committed
to things that matter.
© matt & laura norvell 2011 www.settingourstones.org we want to share this with you and hope you'll share with the world; we simply ask that you let people know where you found these words. May Grace & Peace be with you.