How do you know if you are really investing 100% into your relationship and keeping commitments?  Obviously, if it were a financial investment and you had $100 and you put it all in, you would conclude that you are 100% invested.  Surely 100% invested must mean keeping commitments.  Now, image that your investment goes through a time of struggle.  Market conditions change and you show a loss.  Your initial $100 is now worth $50.  Do your thoughts turn to selling out?  Do you take your money and run before it gets worse?  If you are committed and you have hope then your thoughts won’t betray you.  In fact, you may put more into the investment.  Your friends and family will think you are crazy.  And this may be some of the best confirmation that you are keeping your commitment.

There is another way of looking at commitment. Let’s say you are a deer hunter.  You are committed to getting your deer every season.  You sight in your rifle or bow, practice, and scout the best places you can find starting in July.  By the time hunting season rolls around you are working double shifts trying to earn some extra money for Christmas.  You never even go into the field.  Are you committed?  Yes, to working and earning money for Christmas.  Where did the commitment to deer hunting go?  It was placed secondary to other commitments.

What mission are you on?  Is it seasonal like hunting or is it more constant in every season; whether you have need or abundance?  Does your mission cause other people to conclude that you are crazy?

In the bible, there is a story about Elijah a prophet of God going to recruit a disciple named Elisha.  Elisha is a wealthy man.  He is plowing a field with a team of twelve cattle.  This is valued at approximately $24000.  But these cattle are also tractors and the means of production for the family and community.  This is a big business.  It is their livelihood.  What does Elisha do to answer the calling?  He tells his family, slaughters the cattle, invites the community to a barbeque, and burns the plows.  There is no turning back.  There is nothing to look back to.  No comforts to entice him from his mission.  He is fully invested in keeping commitments.

A few weeks ago our agenda for Daddy Bootcamp involved a trip to Dollywood.  We had to prepare lunch and snacks, take the dog for a long walk, get cleaned up, etc, etc.  You know the ordeal involved in moving a family through the tasks of getting ready and going somewhere.  It often involves some stress, redirection, and motivation.  Sometimes this means yelling, threatening, and punishment.  There is a lot of excitement and energy and if it is not focused chaos ensues.  When chaos increases keeping commitments decreases.

One of the tasks is to take care of the dog.  A good job with the dog means some attention, a walk, water, food, a toy, taking the garbage out, and closing off rooms he can’t go in.  A good job now saves us worry and work when we get home.  The kids think that if they complete a task quickly it will be time to leave faster.  I think if we don’t take care of the dog we will have a mess to clean up when we get home.

Numerous times the kids needed to be refocused, reminded of the task at hand, and why we were doing all this preparation.  Their commitment was to the impulse of the moment.  When they were able to focus on the big picture they got overwhelmed with anticipation and needed to be refocused, calm down, and get their chores done.

At the park, we had no plan.  We wandered around all day waiting in line and riding what struck our impulse.  We would walk past a short line to wait in a long line because the ride with a short line didn’t look fun enough or was too scary.   At the end of the day we realized we could have planned better, we rode water rides at the end of the day and went to the car wet.

Daddy Bootcamp Lesson: If you don’t know your mission you will wander around all day.  What mission are you on?  Are you clear on what it will cost you?  Do you need some pain to focus your attention to the task at hand?  Do you need encouragement or motivation?  Are you committed to all God has for your life or are you wandering around this amusement park without a story to focus your attention and efforts?  How will you be keeping commitments to God?

Leadershop Ministries can help you deal with the impulse of the moment, clarify the story of your life’s mission, and help you keep commitments.  Contact us for Christian Counseling or Life Coaching.

Author: Todd Davis, PhD, MFT, LADC

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