“Routine commitments may look mundane, but don’t underestimate their power. Any parent who has signed up a five-year-old on a soccer team knows the time-consuming potential of routine commitment.”- John Ortberg
As John Ortberg continues Chapter 9 of When the Game is Over, he explores three flavors of binding commitments. Those flavors – dramatic, routine, and unspoken:
- dramatic – examples include graduation, marriage, and changing jobs or careers. Because of their dramatic nature, such commitments are easy to recognize. Yet, we sometimes fail to think about the hidden cost. For examples, moving to a status home that increases one’s work commute means less family time.
- routine– as Pastor Ortberg cautions, the mundane nature of routine commitments masks their deceptive power.
- unspoken – all addictions, the author contends, represent a form of unspoken commitment. However, John notes, watching TV represents our primary unspoken commitment. Most noteworthy, Pastor Ortberg states, parents, on average, spend four hours a day watching TV. In contrast, they spend about six minutes per day playing with their children.
Yes, John observes, dramatic commitments receive most of our attention. But, routine and unspoken ones drive our lives. That’s because there are so many of them. Also, they come on a daily basis. And, individually, they look so small. As a result, we fail to sense the growing gap between what we say matters most to us and what we actually decide to do with our lives. Thus, Jesus made it clear in Matthew 22:37 that God and people matter.
Next, to help us get concrete, John takes a look at the four most common categories of regret people go through at the end of their lives. As Pastor Ortberg reminds us, we’re playing a game that backs up for no one.
Today’s question: Do dramatic, routine, or unspoken commitments most impact your life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Time – a finger snap, an eye blink”