A promise is a promise. That is what people say. People who have character and class believe that. They live by it. But not everybody has character or class and could care less about keeping a promise. Those kinds of people think promises are made to be broken if they become inconvenient, unprofitable, or just all out uncool. Promises that cramp their style are forgotten and figured to be no longer in place. The best way to measure someone may very well be based on their ability and desire to keep the promises they make to others.
Meet Ben and Mary. They are teenagers in Harrisburg, PA and they have been friends since fourth grade when they met in class. They are the kind of kids I hope are coming back in style in America. They are promise keepers.
Mary is a special girl and Ben no doubt is a special boy. They became friends in grade school and Ben told his mother he wanted to go to prom with Mary. Now I wasn’t thinking about prom in the fourth grade, but if I was I am sure that I would not have remembered who I wanted to take to the big dance way out in the future. Ben never forgot Mary and he never forgot his desire to make her prom as special as he could. Despite going to different schools for several years they never forgot each other. Last week they dressed all up, took all the pictures, exchanged corsages, and danced the night away. Promise made. Promise kept.
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That is serious promise keeping. Taking someone who it seems you have “outgrown” to a once in a lifetime event. This boy gave away his own special memory so he could make her memory as special as possible. That boy has pointed the way towards character and class for a generation of kids to witness and walk in.
That kind of promise keeping gets me to thinking.
What if every promise made was remembered, protected and honored like Ben and Mary’s prom promise? Would our world notice or change at all? I am betting it would. Just think about the things that could change based on keeping a promise made in the past.
How would our world be different if promises made for marriage were honored and kept even when it seems easier to make a change, upgrade, or find another true love?
How would our children be different if promises we make at their dedication/baptism/christening are kept to not only spoil them, but disciple them and teach them the way of holiness?
How would our churches be different if promises made at baptism (and as new members) were kept and believers would be known for their authenticity rather than their hypocrisy?
How would our churches be different if promises made at ordination by pastors/clergy were kept and shepherding the people of faith remained the primary function of pastors instead of chasing cool, building a legacy, and defining what is and isn’t relevant today for the church?
How would our government be different if every promise made by public leaders (from the police to the president) was kept in a way that honors the citizen and preserves the union despite the political expectation or play?
How would our society prosper if people kept their promises to obey the law (even in traffic), pay their bills (the credit card get your promise on record up front), and tell the truth and nothing but the truth at all times?
Truthfully, that would be a world that none of us would recognize. It would be a bizzaro world for sure. It would be unbelievable to see. It would be incredible to imagine. It is almost silly to suggest such an unusual thing is possible. Almost as unusual as the star quarterback choosing to keep a fourth grade promise and take the most precious, special girl to prom.
God bless you Ben. You are a fine man and I am sure there is more to your story. I’ll be looking and listening to hear your name again.
God bless you Mary. You are a beautiful girl and I know that you are meant to change the world. Keep that smile popping. I can see it all the way to Texas!