Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is credited for stating what has become one of my favorite quotes: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision.”
Commitment is a powerful tool, and, indeed, the lack thereof is actually more destructive in our society than we may realize. It is commitment that carries people forward in agreements made and the giving of one’s word. It is commitment that holds marriages together when rough times come, as they always and surely do. It is commitment that achieves goals, finishes projects and assignments, follows through on promises, and ultimately performs to completion the greatest of tasks. How much notoriety would the Great Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, or the Panama Canal hold if they were only partially completed? How much respect would we have for Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, or George Washington if they had not stuck to their commitments when it got hard? Do any of the greats of history hold their position in the annals of our memories because halfway through their assigned lot in life they decided it was too hard and just went home? No. Nor should it be with us.
That life is hard is not an exclusive fate that falls only to the unlucky, nor can it be said that sticking to a difficult or even dangerous task until it is finished is a cake walk made only by the extraordinary. Every day regular men and women to superhuman things because they are dedicated and committed and have the integrity to keep their word.
In marriage relationships commitment is of critical importance. In 1995 the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated, “We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.” The LDS Church is not the only religious or secular institution to encourage stability and commitment in family relationships. Commitment holds the power to save a marriage. Just knowing that your spouse wants to try brings incredible comfort and motivation to try in turn.
Commitment is power. Whatever task seems difficult in your path, whatever relationship is testing your resolve, whatever decision you are waffling about making but know should go a certain way – move forward with conviction and commitment and then watch as amazing things unfold and happen in your life.