You know as well as I do that things just ain’t what they used to be. It’s not that I’m just nostalgic for the past (but who could blame me), it’s that I’m in mourning for what’s become “acceptable” in our culture. Whether it’s politics, pop culture or our own relationships, somehow our standards seem to have been systematically lowered. We’ve become accustomed to accepting less, because less is easier. Once people start asking less of themselves, we stop expecting more of them, and too often of ourselves as well. I think I know why. It’s commitment, or should I say a complete lack of it, especially where it counts the most.
Let’s think about the BIG picture. Are there already plenty of laws on the books to immediately address the out of control illegal immigration problem in this country? Yes, of course. What’s lacking is the commitment to enforce them. Could the free market get our economy back on track, just as it has time and time again? Yes, most definitely. It’s only a lack of commitment to letting it that hobbles our recovery. What about Congress…couldn’t the men and women who make up the House and Senate listen to their constituencies and truly do the work of “we the people” to make this the America of our glorious past…the country our grandfathers fought and died for? Yup, if only they were committed to doing something, anything, besides keeping their cushy jobs.
Celebrities do disgraceful and often illegal things, and not only do they get away with it but they’re celebrated in the media for doing so. Gossip somehow passes for “the news,” and nobody seems to care (except me and you, that is). Celebrity is a gift—believe me, I know—and there was a time when that gift came with a degree of responsibility. Unfortunately, too many who enjoy fame and fortune feel no commitment to act with any reverence, humility or appreciation. The flip side of that coin is that we’ve become so numb to the shame and scandal that we’ve ceased expecting or demanding more from those who enjoy the privilege of the status we grant them.
And then there are relationships, especially those between moms, dads and their children. The American family is the cornerstone of our society, and it’s in big trouble—that means we’re all in big trouble, because if the family goes then it’s dark days ahead for us all. It’s all due to commitment, commitment, commitment. We need more, and we’ll only get to the big stuff once we’ve gotten a handle on the smaller (though no less important) stuff that defines our daily lives. That’s where my 40 Day and 40 Night Challenge comes into play.
I’ve devoted this entire issue to my challenge because I truly believe that a rededication to commitment on a deeply personal level is what we need; what will help correct the course of not just us as Americans, but of America as well. Until we can individually be at our very best, we’ll never be our best collectively or able to do the work that so desperately needs to be done. If you haven’t already taken the Challenge, for the next 40 Days and 40 Nights, make a covenant to practice faith, hope and charity by doing these things:
• Commit to praying on your knees every night. Pray for guidance, inspiration, and peace...pray for the leaders of our country… for their safety and that they will receive wisdom. Quite simply, re-establish your relationship with God and do it with humility from your knees. Most of all, let your children see you do this so they can understand how profoundly important it is to you.
• Commit to finding your hope in the truth. It’s too easy to anesthetize yourself with tiny lies— there can be no hope without unflinching honesty.
• Establish a habit of honesty, question everything with boldness, and pray for confirmation of what you believe to be true. Even a half-truth is a whole lie.
• Lastly, commit yourself to charity. And remember, charity begins at home. Do something kind for every member of your family at least once a week. Also, commit to taking notice of how blessed you truly are and be genuinely grateful for all you receive.
If you can commit yourself to the 40 Day and 40 Night Challenge, you will find your life has changed. You will have established a new “normal,” effected meaningful progress in your entire family’s life, and reconnected with the profound sense of faith that has been our country’s bedrock since its very inception. At the end of your 40 days and nights, I believe your commitment will have yielded the dividend of beginning your transformation into the very best version of yourself that you can possibly be.
But you’re going to have to commit, and that’s about action. Doing is harder than talking, and doing is that which needs to be done. So what do you say…are you up for a little commitment that could end up meaning a lot? I think you are.
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