Promises for fools

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Verbal promises, signed promises, handshakes, pinky swears… Do you take promises seriously or do you have great intentions, but not always follow through? Personally, I have wonderful intentions with promises, but it doesn’t always go as planned. 

Promises can be made for all sorts of things – to pay back borrowed money, to stop an addiction, a promise to a child of play time, a promise to attend a meeting, a promise of support and love to a spouse. And, of course, there is always a promise to God. 

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 says, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” Well, guess what, folks? I think I am a fool. I made a promise to God and I did not fulfill it. YET. 

Well, wait. Does that make me a fool, then? If I intend on fulfilling it, but I haven’t yet? Sigh… I should have known better than to try to make a deal with the big guy!

Several months ago I had made a promise to God that I was going to take better care of myself, physically and mentally. I intended to eat better, exercise, not forget to take my vitamins, and make sure I had a few minutes each day for reflection. But, let me explain what happened. See, the wagon I was riding in was on this really bumpy, unpaved road with SO many incredible sights to see and, well, I had taken my seat belt off for just a moment and, well… I fell off the wagon. There, I said it. I just fell off. Sigh… Some of my loved ones are still strapped in and doing well. But, I just finished brushing the dirt off my clothes and bandaging my injuries. A fall like that is rough, especially when your ride was so good!

I know it may sound vain or superficial… to make a promise to God about being healthy. I mean, there are so many bigger things in the world I could vow to do, right? I know, I know. But this is why I did what I did. I felt bad. I felt like I have failed God in some odd way by not taking care of all that He has given me… including myself. 

So here is the plan… 

Step 1. Talk to God and re-iterate my promise and ask for forgiveness for not following through the first time. 

Step 2. Tell my friends and family so that I am always being held accountable (even when I actually think I am hiding from the man upstairs… shhh… )

Step 3.  Like the wise words of the group 2 Hyped Brothers & a Dog – “Act like a tennis shoe, a just DO IT!” Fulfill the vow. 

Ok, so there it is. Its out there. I have bored you with my blog on failed promises only to reignite my desire to fulfill the promise. Want to join me? What changes do you want to make? — Quit a bad habit? Dedicate time for family? Join a group for a good cause? Give yourself reflection time each day? — Even if the bible says only fools make vows to God and do not fulfill them, I dont think we always have to win on the first try. Good intentions and continuous effort, while asking God for strength, really isn’t failing, is it? 

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