I got an email from someone earlier that they were pleased to read about my keeping up with the mission commitments I’d made. It struck me as funny for a moment, and then it kind of horrified me, then it made me get out the keyboard and write this missive.
The person who contacted me was part of the staff on the mission trip. They truly didn’t know me from … well, Adam when this all started and we went to Belize. And they cautioned all of us before we went on the trip about committing to doing things or promising individual financing. And, for the most part, we kept that in mind as we went about our business.
The one exception I made was that when Marc and I were in the computer lab we saw a need and knew we could fill that need. We weren’t asked to do it, we just volunteered. And I think that’s what scared my friend – making that promise and forgetting about it when you get back home is probably not uncommon. It’s not a malicious thing, but people just get back in the day to day of their lives and that promise to send a book, a note, a donation, might get lost in the shuffle.
And I apologize for giving her pause. I try really hard to carry through on my commitments. I might miss a shipping date but I won’t miss getting it done. And there in lies the caution: If you – make that when you go on a mission trip (even if it’s just down the block to the assisted living place) you have to make sure that you don’t promise anything you are not 100% sure about, without reservation or exception. If you don’t make it happen you hurt future mission workers, the people you promised something to and God. Yes, God. You were His ambassador and if you failed to keep your word you’ve failed to keep His word as well.
So, I’m tickled that my friend was happily surprised. And I’m sorry I gave her a scare. She has an excellent heart and I love that about her. A lesser person wouldn’t have worried about what someone else committed to on the trip.
Man, am I blessed with some great friends.