A Clutch on Commitment

I did not want to do it. I wasn’t sick, didn’t have a headache or a backache or a leg ache. Nothing like that. No excuse. I just didn’t want to do it.

Early this morning–well before 7:00– I sat on the couch in my motor home and dealt with the sentiment I was feeling; I didn’t want to do it.

Didn’t want to do what? Well, I kind of hate to admit it, but I didn’t want to go to our 7:00 am prayer meeting, and furthermore I didn’t want to make peanut brittle afterward. Just didn’t want to–didn’t want to mess with any of it. It was still dark outside, the motor home was snuggy and warm, and the coffee in my cup sent a delightful steamy aroma into the new morning air–well not exactly, for the cup was now empty, and really what I wanted to do was stay in my robe and fuzzy socks, pour myself a second cup of the cheery libation, and slouch around a bit.

But I didn’t; rather I took myself in hand, walked to the bedroom and the bathroom, where I dressed myself and emerged clean and shinning, ready to take on the day. For you see, I was committed…committed to the prayer meeting and committed to the little job that called for my stirring hand to push the dull wooden spoon around and around inside the fiery metal pot.

Commitment. Last night in our discipleship class I included in the lesson I taught,  Five Levels of Commitment. Take a look with me and think about this crucial subject.

Level 1     I’m not committed

Level 2     I’m willing to let it happen, but will not help.

Level 3     I’ll try.

Level 4     I’ll do my best.

Level 5     I’ll get it done whatever it takes.

In recent years as I speak with leaders in the church, and, for that matter, with business owners and with the general population, I hear a strong consensus of opinion that America is virtually plagued with a lack of commitment, and that this plague is virulent and spreading. Too many of us take the easy road. Oh, we’ll do the job we’ve signed on to, if at the moment to bring it off we are still excited about it, or it’s quite convenient, or if we believe we will receive accolades for doing so, or if it is the “popular” thing to be doing. But watch out if you’re in charge and in need of people to “come through” on their commitments. You may have phone calls or personal conversations: “I’m really sorry. My alarm didn’t go off…out of state relatives have come to visit…I forgot…I have a headache…Not sure I can do that now…Threw my back out…I have a flat tire…My battery is dead…No money for gas…Oh, you started 30 minutes ago? Must have misunderstood the time…But where is everybody else? Can’t do this by myself…Homework to do…My dog’s sick. Must take her to the vet…Computer crashed. Didn’t get it done…Printer ran out of ink…

Or…you may hear nothing. The job simply is not done. And strangely, some people who signed on, and who failed to show, may easily glide into church on Sunday or into the office place, or come knocking at your door, as though nothing untoward had ever happened. Downright strange. Definitely, no clutch on commitment is observed.

But there are others: “My computer crashed, and my cartridge ran empty, but I’m going now to Staples and the bulletin will be ready. Don’t worry… Relatives have come in, but they’ll be helping me… I’m embarrassed to say my alarm didn’t go off, but I’ll be down late tonight to get the job done…I have a headache and a backache and a leg ache and a stomach ache, but don’t worry, I’ll get it done, and if I just cannot, I’ll see that my bud does it…Can’t believe it. Ready to get there, but I had a flat tire, and my battery was dead. Not to worry. I’m hitching a ride with Sam… Didn’t know where I would get money for gas, but God gave me a side job. Be there in a minute…My dog’s sick, but I’ve put him in the carrier and when I’m finished I’ll run by the vet’s…

Yep, we need it, a hefty, hot clutch on commitment; dedication, resolve, faithfulness. I spoke such a lesson to myself this morning as I sat easily on my couch, having awoke feeling lazy and uncommitted. But I took myself in hand and spoke: “Self, you will do those jobs to which you are committed. You will pray at the early morning prayer meeting, and you will butter pans and boil syrup and dash in soda and pour the bubbling mass into aluminum pans. You will do it. Yes, you will!”

And she did. 🙂

(Somewhere in my studies I came across the 5 levels of commitment list I’ve posted, saw that I had made a hand-written copy of it, but as is too often the case, I failed to note where I originally found the material. It is not original with me. Good, though, huh? If you wrote this list, let me know and I’ll give you credit…and a smiley face.)

2 thoughts on “A Clutch on Commitment

  1. SBBuxton

    I really don’t know if I feel like falling off my kitchen barstool and writhing on the floor, hooting & hollering with laughter because I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW; or just sitting quietly, shaking my head in wonder because someone has just EXACTLY described my feelings & thoughts on this, the most dreaded of all words in the world we live in: COMMITMENT. Like the wise parrot once said: “You know.” 😀


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