(I originally wrote this article for The Cathedral Times newsletter, 21 October 2012)
To me, the most interesting people are the ones who are committed to something. Uncommitted people just don’t seem that interesting to me.
The Pew Research Center presented their latest analysis of religious affiliation the other day. As expected, the trend that continues is that people are choosing “None” for their religious affiliation. “The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling,” declared their website.
That is fine with me. If people want to be uncommitted, let them come and go, as they please. Personally, I want people who are committed to something. This has to do with relationships, it has to do with friendships, and it even has to do with sports. It has to do with politics, with investments, with almost everything. Even if you are committed to the sports team who is my team’s competitor, you are more interesting to me than the uncommitted person.
Yes, people who are committed are far more interesting to me than uncommitted ones are.
Committed people risk things. They give things. They give their attention and their time. They give their money. Yes, it is risky to give those kinds of things in life; but, commitment is something we pay for in life. We pay for it, which is to say that sometimes it costs us sadness or conflict. When we are committed, we are often disappointed, and even betrayed sometimes.
In all these ways, commitment is a lot like love. The love which is true love, is very costly. But, glory hallelujah, true love is also worth it. True love lifts me up; it makes me glow. It makes me more interesting! But, when I love, I am also willing to give up things, to pay for things, to commit to things.
So, I do not mind if people are spiritual and not religious. Let them be. But, ultimately, they are not very interesting to me; they float around like teen-age groupies following whoever is that week’s number one in the polls.
I am interested in the long term, the love term. To me, people who risk being committed to something, and to someone, have character; they have a life. They have a place from which to see the world with steady, lasting vision; they have love.
I urge you to commit yourself to something this season. Not just anyone, of course, and not just anything. Commit yourself to someone who is steady and loving. Commit yourself to someone who can, and will, give you life. Commit yourself to Jesus.
Where is this Jesus? He is in his body, which is the church (Colossians 1:24). The Cathedral of St. Philip, and whatever local parish you are close to right now, needs your commitment this year. Yes, we are a body that has some blemishes and even some illnesses from time to time. But we are the Body of Christ, which produces resurrection and new life from those very wounds. In doing so, we have a message and a gospel for anyone in this life who has ever been wounded: love wins.
Commit yourself to the Cathedral parish this year. (Especially if you are an interesting person! We become more interesting, as a parish, when you join us!) Yes, it’s pledge time, too, for the 2013 year. Pledge to the Cathedral in 2013, and –Hey, I also guarantee that you will be a more interesting person!