Commitment, Part 2

In this post I’ll continue my personal beliefs about commitment, my focus word for this year.  Specifically, I’ll explain my commitment educationally and professionally.

 “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” (unknown)


Educational Commitment

When I was 10 years old I was given a dream journal. Several prompts asked me to write about my future for school and work. I knew I wanted to go to college and then teach children. My parents constantly talked about college and built up my excitement about going. I realized at a young age that college would be a commitment. My mother had begun her studies in 1934 but had to work during the Depression. She returned to her studies and graduated  13 years later in 1947. She was a living example of commitment.

I entered Samford University in 1967 and graduated in 1971 with a B.A., double majors in Spanish and English and my teaching credentials. My commitment to finish studying led me to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I completed my Master’s Degree in Adult Education in 1973.

Commitment to …

  • study and more study
  • hours of research
  • exams
  • writing papers
  • typing papers before PCs
  • committees
  • speeches
  • tears
  • prayer
  • lack of sleep!

Professional Commitment

I was privileged to remain in one place of professional commitment for over 18 years. My position as a full-time children’s pastor was incredibly challenging as well as pure joy. During that time, I worked with more than two dozen staff members: all different personalities, all staying for various lengths of time. Our volunteer staff through those years was much larger: again with all different personalities and a commitment to working with children. A children’s pastor actually spends a great deal of time in relationships with the parents: here again…all different personalities, all with different kinds of parenting skill levels. I would be kidding myself and my readers to say this commitment was easy. It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done!

Proverbs 15:2 says “A wise teacher makes learning a joy.” I had been blessed with childhood, high school, and college teachers who had been wise and therefore, I found such joy in learning. One of my goals during those 18 years as children’s pastor was to make learning a joy for the children as their walk in faith increased.

Remaining committed to this job meant I was able to work with two generations of children. That is a joy beyond description!

Commitment to…

  • hours of lesson preps
  • telephoning and correspondence
  • making props
  • camp planning
  • learning new music
  • teaching leadership training
  • sterilizing toys
  • baking thousands of cookies
  • tears
  • prayer
  • lack of sleep!

How about you? How have your educational and professional commitments made a difference in your life?

Join me later in Commitment, Part 3 where I will discuss Marriage Commitment and Spiritual Commitment.

If you missed Part 1 here is the link:

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6 Responses to Commitment, Part 2

  1. Commitment is an important word as is intentional. Thanks for the post. I have some pondering to do in my last year and a half of teaching.


    • Ruth Packard says:

      I believe commitment is often easier when we see an end in sight. It’s almost like seeing light at the end of the tunnel! Wow…a year and a half will pass quickly, Sheila!


  2. I love this idea of what it is to be committed and the joys that it brings.


  3. Michele says:

    Commitment is a powerful word and has a deep meaning for me as well. It deepens relationships, not just with people, but with everything we value in our lives.


    • Ruth Packard says:

      When I chose this word for the year, I had no idea I would really have to soul search in order to write! It’s been a good exercise for me! I’m glad you understand and can identify!


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