THE ENDURING SNOWDROP

Pictured here is an early Spring or Late Winter flowering bulb known as the Snowdrop.  It is in the front yard and the only one in the entire yard.  This single flower is the first of its kind this year and almost overlooked because of its petite size close to the ground.  They do grow larger, but the infrequent frigid nights have probably affected its growth potential.

Despite its challenges, this Snowdrop is there, standing approximately 4-5 inches in height, its flower perhaps the heaviest portion of the entire plant.

The challenges of our lives are at times such that we cannot reach our fullest possibilities.  Or, at least it seems that circumstances and situations have hampered our growth.  But, before you write yourself off as having failed the possibility test, consider this:  The quality of the Snowdrop under its challenging conditions may have been enhanced.  Obviously, this little plant is strong, having to support such a large flower, with the wind and the cold at times blowing down upon it.  But it is standing.  And, its beauty has not been altered by its circumstance.

Think more positively about your situation.  Your promise and possibility is still being realized as your strength of character and beauty within still springs forth to bless the lives of others.  Contrary winds of life may have attempted to blow you away, but you still stand to testify of endurance, victory, and strength, which may all be enough for someone to observe and consider.

As a standing, walking and living testimony, someone is being blessed by you by mere observation.  Never underestimate the power of your light within to enlighten and inspire others to keep trying and to maintain a course of endurance.  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NKJV)  And remember, the source of the light within is Jesus, the light of the world, who endured great trial and even death, yet remaining victorious.

“You, therefore, must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” II Timothy 2:3 NKJV

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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY 2015

Committing and decommitting is over now as National Signing Day is well underway all across the landscape of college football.  No more I will or I won’t.  No more I did or I didn’t.  Today is the final day of decision when commits become actual signed contracts between student-athletes and their college of choice.

Many of these student-athletes will have great opportunities to display their talents on and off of the field by choosing to focus on both their academics and athleticism while others will be distracted by the hype and hoopla of college life.  Some will make it to graduation and stardom on the field.  Others will fall by the wayside without either.  Perhaps others had better athletic skills but cannot meet the academic requirements of their school choice.  They will have to go the community college route to seek to meet those requirements.  Some will be discouraged by the intensity and high standards of it all and sadly do nothing.

But for today, they sign contracts, both the colleges and the student-athletes.  The students will be hailed as the finest available and looked upon as the future for their college teams.  It will be a good day for many with high hopes of success and perhaps even very nice careers in the NFL.

But they have to sign on the dotted line.  The commit has been evasive at best, illusive at times, and allusive from some, but not past today.  You have to choose, you have to sign the contract, and your choice is made public for everyone to know.  You have to get off of the fence, no more campus visits, phone calls from coaches seeking you out.  After today, it is clear who is where and with whom, without assumption, presumption, or conjecture.  This is it.  “. . . choose for yourselves this day . . .” (Excerpt from Joshua 24:15 NKJV)

Such is life.  We have to make choices that will have lasting effects upon our lives.  The choice will not allow us to bounce around any longer or second-guess ourselves.  We cannot merrily waltz our way through life without firmly stating and demonstrating our choices about life.  And really, no choice is a choice.  This is it.  Marriage, job, house, car, bills, civic duty, church and faith . . . all of these and more require decision or choice.  They require signatures . . . binding, obligating, contractual, all of the things that will not allow one to just walk away but hold one accountable to contract requirements.   The covenant works both ways.  This is it . . . “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.   He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”  Psalm 37:5-6 NKJV

The Lord’s commitment is sure.  Where is yours?

COMMITMENT ISSUES? REALLY?

There seems to be trouble with the word ‘commit’ these days.  It is highlighted by the National Signing Day and all of the hustle and bustle for the best high school football players available by schools all across the land.  Many have committed (or so we thought) while some have decommitted (a new word I think).  Now we’re hearing of a university decommitting from their scholarship commitment to a young athlete, leaving the young man to search for someone else to commit to him so that he can commit to them.

These are the young man’s words:  “I felt lost and hopeless.  I mean, I had shut down my recruiting and basically gave everything to those guys – my commitment, my word and everything.  Now my commitment and your commitment isn’t the same thing.”

This is too much.  What happened to the phrase, ‘your word is your bond?’  What happened to a contract being sealed with a handshake?  What is the problem with the word commit?

It’s showing up everywhere!  More and more people have commitment issues related to their ‘love’ interests, friendships, business relationships, and even with relationship with God.  Longstanding institutions are finding it difficult to survive because of commitment issues.

I love you but I can’t commit (Isn’t that a misnomer?)  I want you on my team but I want to grayshirt you (after offering the scholarship).  We can do business together but . . .  I believe in the Lord, but I am not ready to ‘commit.’

It seems there is always but . . . not the one with two t’s, just one, which communicates ‘no commitment.’  There is always an underlying current, a risky possibility, a remote chance, a shred of doubt or something that keeps people from using the word or execute the action of commit.

Committed?  Really, are you all in with no holdouts, no hidden agenda, no reluctance, no hesitancy or doubt?  Really, because if you’re committed, doesn’t that mean to entrust something (That is a form of trust I think).  Commitment carries weight because each party realizes it is binding upon both of them. (Usually!  But, the language is in transformation, obviously.)  And, the agreement obligates (It did at one time!) parties to perform certain acts or to deliver on certain matters mentioned in the commitment.

Well, National Signing Day is almost here and we will see how these commitments pan out.

But every day presents opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to some things such as our relationships, our institutions, our businesses, values and principles without which our whole society will be in turmoil.  Do we really have society without trust or commitment?

That may explain some things.