Thursday, December 22, 2016

Advent: Promise

I was going to say that a lot of times promises don't have any meaning because of how easily they're broken, but then it occurred to me that I was looking at it all wrong. If promises were empty, we wouldn't care if they were broken.

It's precisely because they carry such weight and pack such value that we're cut to the very soul if someone breaks one, hesitate to make them, and won't even accept them if we know they won't be honored. A friend who breaks every promise he makes isn't much of a friend, and is soon forgotten.

I learned the value of a promise from my parents. They made a promise to each other, five years before I was born, that they have kept faithfully for nearly 52 years.

In the time since they swore to put each other first, before and beyond all others, they have never strayed from each other's side. There have been times it would have been easier for them to part ways, but they always stayed. That promise changed their lives, and it has been a legacy my brothers and I each strive to uphold in our own lives, in our own marriages.

There was a second promise that my parents made, that I also have made on three separate occasions in my life. That's the promise of a parent, forged in the heart for nine months and declared with the first look and the first touch of a new baby.

It's much like the promise I made to my wife: I am here for you. I am not going anywhere. If there is anything you need, I will move heaven and earth to get it for you. Your happiness and your well-being come before my own.

Promises change lives. A promise by the right person can change the world.

Copyright © 2016 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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