- Friday, September 26, 2003
In spheres of singles, commitment is a word that's often avoided instead of embraced. Because I've not made a commitment to a certain person for life, it's easy to omit the word from my vocabulary. I'm spoiled by the "no strings attached" living. I'm used to coming and going according to my own schedule, and I like holding exclusive rights to my paycheck. However, marital status doesn't matter when it comes to following Christ. Like every other believer, I'm without excuse in the arena of commitment. The most amazing Person has already committed Himself to me for the here and the hereafter. If I believe that He exists and that His existence makes a difference in my life, I will wholeheartedly commit myself to Him. He is a Person to be loved, not a project to be tackled. He is the Person who deserves my best attention and primary focus. I will begin a journey that requires deep commitment. I will be a diligent seeker.
Diligent seeking isn't glamorous, but the rewards are unbeatable. I've experienced some seasons of deep commitment, and in the midst of them, I've known that there's nothing on earth like walking with God. A committed walker discovers territory unknown to the Christian couch potato or to the Christian "train riders."
As an adult, I made my first trip to the Magic Kingdom, and my friends and I took the train tour to get a sweeping view of the grounds. The ride was nice, the scenery was great, and the breeze was refreshing, but the whole trip was highly unsatisfying. I watched others enjoy the surroundings, but from my bench on the train I missed all the delights of a park packed with opportunities. If I had stayed on the train, I would have missed the Magic Kingdom. From the train, I only saw the opportunities; when I took off walking, however, I indulged in them.
There are territories along the Christian journey that only walkers will fully experience. The marked-off regions elude those who only ride the train.
One such place is what I like to call Happiness Hollow, an amazing place where humans have the chance to make God smile. By my faith and commitment, I can please God.
When I was in grade school, I memorized a poem to please my dad. In our family poetry collection was the story of "Twenty Froggies," a poem he knew as a child. I'm not sure why he liked it so much, except it must have taken him back to a place that only existed in his memory. His eyes lit up when he recited parts to me. He grinned and chuckled at the sing-song rhyme of twenty frogs dressed in white vests going to school. Somewhere in the middle of one of his recitations, the wattage went off in my head: wouldn't he be excited if I learned his favorite poem, too?! I decided to memorize it and surprise him. With each learned phrase, I anticipated his glee. I worked hard to master every word, eager to present my poetic gift to my dad. I knew he would be delighted.
Delighting my dad pushed me past the minimum childhood requirement of obedience. I wasn't satisfied with just avoiding the wooden spoon. My relationship with my dad could be more than that. I knew I could make him beam, bust his buttons, and bless the day I was born. I would've gone to the moon to make him smile. Pleasing my dad was a mission of love--because I loved him, I poured my energy into making him glad to be my dad.
Having an earthly dad that I admire and respect has always been my great privilege. Being able to please him with wholehearted love has been an even greater privilege. Neither compare, though, to having a heavenly Dad. I would be thrilled if I could simply pacify the anger of a holy God through strict adherence to His divine rules. It's incomprehensible that I can make a smile break across the face of Almighty God. My fragile faith somehow gives Him glee. I don't have to dodge lightning bolts; instead I can pour my energy into delighting my Dad. I can please God.
Excerpted with permission from "Living Whole Without a Better Half" by Wendy Widder, Copyright © Kregel Publications, 2000.
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