When someone makes a promise do you actually believe? As you hear words too good to be true, what is your reaction? If the commitment is beyond the pale of the imaginable, is consideration even a possibility. We have heard rhetoric and hype. Leading sports figures before the big game promising victory. The faithful desperately want to believe. Other instances where leaders promise change all the while everyone including the speaker’s soul know that they are not in control of the variable needed to make the change a reality.
With time we have become cynical. We know promises are at best good intentions. We carry hope but are rarely confident as well. We are walking unbelievers when we acknowledge what our hearts knows to be reality. Promises are nice words. Promises cannot be cashed, should not be relied on, and cannot be guaranteed.
I believe there are promises made and kept. I have seen some of them in action over decades and while it is still an ongoing choice of those involved, I have faith in the future because of the character of the present. Promises can be meaningful, tangible, and nurturing.
I know that in the relationships I have with others there are promises made that are more important than life itself. My promise of trust to those who have given me gifts of relationship. Then there is my promise of stewardship and nurture to the forever children in my care. I also think of the most important promise; that of trust, fidelity, and honor to my friend and lover.
In each case there is a value and priority that transcends everything else. I wonder where I put God in this context. The advice that you and I have is blunt and direct. “Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.” (John 6.27)
Today shows the promises I hold true.