I have always proclaimed to be a strong believer in commitment; however, my actions tell a different story. One stark example occurred during my senior year in college. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a semester in a research lab on a subject that a thoroughly enjoy. I worked under the guidance of two wonderful graduate students. As the semester progressed, I was distracted and didn’t invest as much time as I had promised in the research. Unfortunately, I misled the two graduate students into believing that I was spending time with the other. When they finally spoke about me, they learned the truth and were justifiably very upset.
Looking back now, I do not believe that I deceived them maliciously. Most likely fear drove my behavior to send messages, apparent and subtle, that helped them draw those conclusions. As long as I was not committed to certain times or expectations, I was able to direct my attention elsewhere without repercussion. Sadly, the person who lost the most from that behavior was me. I missed out on a wonderful opportunity to learn something I truly wanted to experience.
Throughout my life, I have displayed the same avoidance behavior time and again. Driven by many forms of fear, I have worked hard to ensure that I am never tethered to expectations that would bind the wings of my so-called “freedom”. Seeing myself a a free bird, I’ve aspired to roam free in the sky without any hindrances tying me down.
More recently, my perception has changed. I now see myself as a fish needing a body of water in which to swim. The commitments does not bind me but rather provide me a safe haven to live out my true potential as a member of the communities in which I live, work, learn, and worship. I ask God to grant me the courage to jump all the way into the pool rather than sit in the edge hesitantly dangling my toes into the water. I pray I can overcome my fears and be more transparent with my commitments.