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I’m going through a “mantra” in my head right now, a “vow” that I made this winter.  I’m saying the words in my mind, and sometimes out loud, as I step into the sunny day and the moist, hot air that wraps around me like a warm wool sweater (not so much, THIS week).  I’m keeping the promise I made as I stood looking at my poor ice-and-snow-covered Suzanne (my Buick).  I’m keeping the promise I made when I received my invoice from THE VECTREN NATURAL GAS COMPANY and passed out on my kitchen floor from the shock…I promised then and say now…I will not complain about the heat this summer, no matter how hot it gets. 

It’s difficult to KEEP that promise through the sweat and the “spring fever” that makes you just want to lay down in front of a fan and sleep!  It’s difficult to keep that promise when the deceptive nature of TIME makes this winter seem years away.  It is difficult to keep that promise when it seems like a silly thing now…did I really mean that? 

What did my old Aunt Lena from Arkansas say“Promises are like piecrust: easily made, easily broken.”  Is that really what promises, even silly ones like the aforementioned, are all about?  Should I expect that the couple standing before me at a wedding are going to BREAK their promises as easily as they are SPEAKING them?  It seems like a very cynical attitude.  And many say that promises need to be “curbed”, perhaps used only occasionally, so that everyone understands the weight that words carry.

Perhaps.  But I’d rather think that we, as Travelers of THE WAY, should be following the Architect of THE WAY since He is our Father and Creator…we are models of Him…and He is a PROMISE MAKER and a PROMISE KEEPER.  Because of that, I believe we should be extravagant, bold, and scandalous PROMISE MAKERS…with the intent of KEEPING those promises, with God’s strength and our own flesh and spirit.

“Easily said, Rick.” I can almost hear you saying.  “Aren’t YOU divorced?  Didn’t YOU break at least one promise?”

Yes, I am divorced, I’ll take that hit.  But the point IS that promises ARE broken, it happens…how do we deal with that?  I can only speak for myself and give the lessons from God through His varied witnesses, but I don’t believe that broken promises are any reason to stop MAKING promises (when at first you don’t succeed…etc.) and for each life lesson, good or ill, we grow, we learn, we expand, we “become”.  The person who promised NOT to complain about the summer heat is not the same person who made promises one, two, ten or twenty years ago…I’m evolving, “becoming”.  Although I’ve been a citizen of the Kingdom of God since He first initiated the charter in Bethlehem, I’ve grown more each day, month and year to SEE the Kingdom that I hold membership to, and walk in.  As I recognize God’s voice more and more, see His work more and more, live with His Spirit more and more I am able to be more like Him.  I have the ability (if not the will) to make and keep promises…as we all do.

In this Kingdom of God we are almost REQUIRED to make promises.  What does God say, “Let your YES be YES and your NO be NO.”  Every word from our mouths should be, by definition, a promise.  We carry THE TRUTH in these fragile bodies and our bodies may fail us…in THIS age, but with each day we walk in THE WAY we get stronger, more peaceful, more like HIM: the Founder of The Promise.  Let us make them freely and keep them gladly.