In the 12-step program I attend, a popular saying is that there are only two times to go to a meeting: 1, When you feel like it. 2, When you don't feel like it. As I've been striving to grow in my commitment and discipline in many areas of life, the saying has come to mind often.
There are only two times to go to church: When I feel like going, and when I don't feel like going.
There are only two times to be faithful in my marriage: When I feel like being faithful,, and when I don't feel like being faithful.
There are only two times to do the right thing: When I feel like doing the right thing, and when I don't feel like doing the right thing.
As I was driving to The Seeking Hour at church at 7 this morning, on a day in a week in which I really didn't know if I had time to do it, I thought about the relationship between commitment, feelings, reasons and excuses.
It occurs to me that there's really not a relationship between commitment and feelings unless I let there be. If I've made a commitment, how I feel at a particular moment won't affect whether or not I honor that commitment.
Now, sometimes there may be reasons not to follow through on a commitment. The car may break down at the last minute, making it impossible to get church or a meeting. Sickness is a valid reason. There may even be times where tiredness is a legitimate reason, but usually that's a matter of not having been wise and disciplined in setting priorities and using time.
More often, the "reasons" for not following through on a commitment are mere excuses: It didn't fit into my schedule. I was too tired. I had too much other stuff to do. And such excuses often are tied to feelings.
These insights help me as I seek to grow in my commitment and faith to God. In fact, these insights surely come from that journey toward stronger faith and commitment to God. I am grateful for that and so much more.