I am a curious person, and I don’t just want to see all kinds of places, I want to experience them – it’s almost an addiction. I can find visiting places that are near to home, just as enjoyable as somewhere half way around the world – as long as I can fully soak in and experience the moment. This is what I thought I would do with my retirement years (and budget). Until that retirement decision came upon me quicker than I thought it would.
It seems the more time I spend on social media, the longer my bucket list gets. While I desire to experience as much as I possibly can here on this earth, I realized that what was important to me, and what I truly was committed to, was fulfilling my purpose here on this earth. Making a difference in other people’s lives is what I am committed to. I’m also committed to cultivating the friendships and family relationships here on this earth, in the present, in the moment. While there certainly will be relationships in Heaven, those that I have here on earth are not only important to me, but I believe they are important to God as well – after all, that is ultimately what He created us for – fellowship with Him first, and then with others. All of the experiences that I desire that don’t get fulfilled here on this earth, I have eternity in Heaven to experience. In essence, I surrendered my bucket list desires, for a commitment.
When it comes to your wholistic health – mental, emotional, physical and spiritual – what do you desire, versus what are you committed to? We most likely have more things we desire, than what we are actually committed to. How do you know the difference?
Desires are most likely more abundant in our lives, and are more short-lived. They are based primarily on our emotions – good or bad. They typically aren’t something that is acted upon – at least not to completion. I could desire to “be young again” or have the body I had when I was 20, but most likely that isn’t going to happen! Yes, there is a slim possibility that could happen, but as long as it remains a desire, it won’t. I could desire to have an endless supply of money, but unless I hit the billion-dollar lottery (which I don’t even play!), or marry the richest man in the world, there is a very, very, very slim chance that will ever happen. The steps or actions that it would take for my desires to become reality, are absent. Desires are passive.
A commitment on the other hand has intentionality behind it. It becomes a goal, that has action steps attached to it. It is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and, has an end date or timeframe attached to it (known as a S.M.A.R.T. goal). A commitment is active.
I had a fella who sat the whole way through my “Healthy Trinity” class I teach at church. Multiple times he expressed to me that he learned a lot (I hope he has). But at the very end of the very last class, he expressed his frustrations with having to take diabetes meds, and being plagued with type II diabetes for many, many years. He had resentment towards the medical docs, the drugs, and the disease itself – and understandably so. But sadly, sitting in front of him was a diet coke, which he admitted he has been drinking at least one, if not multiple sodas a day – for years. I pray that one day he will come up to me and say “I did it doc, I kicked the soda habit.” But as of the end of that class, he still only had a desire to be free of the diabetes, the commitment was not there – yet.
Desires are easy – they are like dreams. Commitments are hard – they take action and dedication, and well, commitment, on our part. Commitments take work. They are hard, but they are not impossible. The important thing is that we recognize there is a difference between a desire and a commitment. Have freedom to float on the cloud of desire, but don’t beat yourself up when it is not accomplished. But also have the freedom to pursue your dream, by turning it into a commitment – with teeth behind it – goals, and action steps that are written down. You CAN do it!
As one of my hiking partners said: “Going UP the mountain is optional (a desire), but coming back DOWN is mandatory (a commitment!)”