Today is a big day for college football fans (and most folks are here in Alabama!). It's national signing day where high school seniors can sign their letters of intent and make their commitment official to the school of their choice. It's a day where a university's national championship dreams are either won or lost depending on the quality of recruits they're able to sign. Recruiting has become the life blood of championship contenders. Many devout fans will either call in "sick" today or be totally unproductive as they follow all the recruiting news from around the nation.
The obsession with college football recruiting has also gone a long way in helping redefine the word "commitment." We've learned there are such things as "silent" commitments who haven't gone public, "soft" commitments who may likely change their commitment from one school to another, commitments who "flip" and actually do change their commitments. And now when highly rated recruits make a commitment they preface it with "For the next 3 to 4 years ..." indicating they're already thinking about the possibility of leaving school early.
Sometimes these "commitments" only last a year or so. A player may decide to transfer if things don't work out to his liking. Or maybe the school will cut a player loose to make room for a more highly rated player who wants to commit. In other words, from the perspective of both player and school commitment is essentially based on, "what can you do for me?"
Unfortunately these sketchy concepts of commitment have worked their way into the life of the Christian. Many of us are "silent" commitments ... not about to boldly or publicly profess our faith. Many are "soft" commitments ... and we're not surprised when these folks drift away from their commitment. We see folks "flip" in their commitment ... one day talking about how much they love Jesus but the next they're fully immersed in anger, gossip, unforgiveness, fear, unbelief, deceit, etc. And it's certainly not uncommon to see who we thought were committed Christians "transfer" or "leave early" after they graduate high school, get married, raise their socio-economic status enough to allow them to get involved with other things, as their kids get older and busier, move to a different community, or just when Jesus or the church doesn't "do for them" what it used to. The word "commitment" just ain't what it used to be!
I guess the only way we can really understand what it means is to consider God's commitment to His own glory and to His people. From eternity past God has kept every single one of His covenant promises, never failing to do exactly what He said He would. And for eternity future He will continue His faithfulness and grace to His people ... not silently ... not softly ... never flipping ... and not falling short of eternal faithfulness. Let us be amazed by God's commitment to us!
from the pen of Paul David Tripp: "Mediocrity is not a time, personnel, resource, or location problem. Mediocrity is a heart problem. We have lost our commitment to the highest levels of excellence because we have lost our awe. Awe amnesia is the open door that admits mediocrity. Awe of God is fear-producing, inspiring, motivating, convicting and commitment producing. There is no replacement for this."