Saturday, July 29, 2006

What Would You Spend A Week on a Roof For?

What REALLY matters in life? For what are you willing to suffer? Anything or anyone you'd pay dearly to nurture or protect? Is it a person? A dream? What would you spend a day on a roof for?

I was reminded what commitment costs this week in a couple of places.

The first was a survey of married/divorced couples. I can't remember who did the study so I'm not able to site the source (but if you're reading this on the internet, YOU KNOW IT MUST BE TRUE!!) The study said that married couples did NOT have fewer troubles, problems or fights than divorced couples. Their troubles, problems and fights were not any smaller, either.

So what allowed married couples to stay together? The researcher concluded it was 1 thing...

"Stubbornness" (if you want to call it what it is), or "Commitment" (if you want to put a little perfume on it and make it sound all rosy). Their attitude seems to be, "I've invested in this, I've made this promise, I'M not leaving!"

Call it what you will, they were more determined, as a whole, than those who became divorced. (I know there are always exceptions to this rule, but on the whole, I think this is probably true.)

Speaking of determined, read this story I came across this week:

Nashville children's pastor takes to roof to raise money for sports ministryNashville-(Nashville Tennessean)

Those at Nashville's Grace Church of the Nazarene believe a new youth soccer program for the community was worth a few days on the roof. On July 9, Children's Pastor Dustin Bilbrey went up to the Grace Church of the Nazarene roof until the $3,000 (U.S.) needed for sets of soccer goals and other equipment for the soccer program was raised. The total went to just more than $3,000 on July 12 toward the conclusion of that evening's service and Bilbrey came down about 8 p.m.

"I told somebody I'd do whatever it took,'' Bilbrey said. "It was really hot, but it was worth it because we can buy the goals and reach out to the community. If I had to sweat a little …''

Bilbrey had a tent for shelter, as well as a sleeping bag, some electric fans, an ice cooler, and study materials to work on the master's degree he's seeking from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Read More --Nashville Tennessean

Now is it just me or is this guy stubborn and committed? He has this thing stuck in his mind that this is the most important thing in the world at this moment. And he's willing to turn his life upside down to accomplish his goal.

I wonder if this is the type of stubbornness or commitment Jesus was talking about when he nearly tries to discourage people from becoming his followers when he says, "If anyone wants to be my disciple, they must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me." (Could it be that if this question were asked more often, the church would be filled with fewer hypocrites, making it more difficult on those living authentic, Christ-like lives?)

If you are like me, that sort of statement leaves you scratching your head and asking, "Do I REALLY want to do this?" Most days I answer "YES!" Some days it's more of a whisper "yeah, i guess so" or a barely audible "uh-huh".

May you find (or be found) by something (or Someone) that is worthy of such commitment (stubborness!)

Grace & peace.

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