ItÂ’s April and that means it is carnival season here in St. Thomas. I began noticing that around end of February and early March that the gym was starting to get a bit more crowded than normal. I noticed that these new members looked so COMMITTED. They were running on the treadmills, moving to the bikes and of course lifting weights. The level of intensity was admirable. But it is only after I started seeing the ads about carnival that I realized that the intensity which I was applauding for the new gym members would be most likely short lived. They were there mainly to get their bodies ready for their costumes for the upcoming parades. Unlike the regular members who had made a COMMITMENT to exercise because of the overall health benefits, these new members were there just for a short season. Though they know fully well the many advantages to be had by regular exercise, for them they were not ready to MAKE A LASTING COMMITMENT to a lifestyle change. Instead they had opted for an exciting, short-lived, intense and seasonal type of COMMITMENT. With that in mind, todayÂ’s FF challenges us to MAKE A LASTING COMMITMENT!

During the recent Holy Week readings, I was struck by a verse from Luke 22:33. Jesus is sitting with his disciples at the table celebrating with them his last supper. He has just informed his followers of Satan’s intent to test them to their extreme. But Jesus assures them of his prayers and that there will be restoration after the testing. Peter makes a bold declaration of his unwavering COMMITMENT and that he is so COMMITTED that even if it means dying, so be it. He says, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” Isn’t it unbelievable how Jesus just smashes Peter’s sense of confidence with the news that before daybreak he would deny that he knew him not one time, but three times. I have no reason to doubt Peter’s sincerity in that he was definitely MAKING A LASTING COMMITMENT. And yet as was prophesied, he failed miserably by denying the Lord.

We learn from this that when we MAKE A LASTING COMMITMENT it does not mean that will not be a test to that COMMITMENT. But it is in the testing that the strength of our COMMITMENT is shown. Parents, when they baptize their children, do make some promises which are A LASTING COMMITMENT to teach their children the faith “by prayer, precept and example.” Somewhere in the course of raising these same children that COMMITMENT will be tested. In marriage men and women make a LASTING COMMITMENT in their vows promising to be together “till death do us part.” Over the course of marriage that COMMITMENT too will be tested. When we opened our hearts to the Lordship of Christ, we MADE A LASTING COMMITMENT to follow Jesus with the promise that there will be “no turning back.” But the flesh, the world and the devil will put us to the test as we are tempted to be pulled back to our former lives.

It is when life tests our COMMITMENT that we know whether or not if it was really LASTING or seasonal. I believe that we are all sincere when we MAKE our COMMITMENTS and that in our hearts we want them to be nothing less than LASTING. But sometimes even the most sincere COMMITMENTS fall short. PeterÂ’s life shows us that we repent after we may have slipped in our COMMITMENT that GodÂ’s grace gives us another chance to renew our COMMITMENT. And for that we say, thanks be to God! We canÂ’t allow the threats to our COMMITMENT to hinder us from still MAKING A LASTING COMMITMENT!

Mikie Roberts (Rev)
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