At one time or another, haven’t we all heard ourselves saying, “I’ll do it. I promise?” Unfortunately, sometimes life just gets in the way of good intentions and we never get around to fulfilling the promise. We say it in all honesty, as we make a mental note to satisfy it, but many times the commitment falls by the wayside and is forgotten.
I was recently told about a rewarded promise that went way beyond just keeping a simple pledge. It traveled into the territory of profound benevolence that will reside in the mind of a certain thirteen year old girl named Katy for her lifetime. It began innocently enough at a dinner with family friends, Steve and Beth. Steve’s daughter picked up the phone book and a piece of paper dropped out of it and fell on the floor. Katy and Steve both said in unison, “You dropped something!” Following along with an old adage, Katy said the most appropriate words for just such an occasion, “Jinx! You owe me a soda—infinity and beyond—no take backs—knock on wood.”
Katy kiddingly said, “Well, I really like Sierra Mist the best!” She didn’t give it another thought…but Steve did. Two days later, he appeared where Katy’s mom works with a six pack of bottled Sierra Mist. In essence, Steve went beyond the promise of a soda and enhanced the pledge with five extra bottles. He said, “Here, my debt is paid. I keep my promises.” Powerful.
When Katy got home from school that day, the six pack was waiting for her. She said, “Wow! He actually did it?!” She wrote about how touched she was in her memory book that night. Steve’s fulfillment was the epitome of integrity. The great return is that it will be an eternal catalyst for Katy to remember the importance of “promise follow through” and she will most likely do the same for others—a shining example for her. The value of observing a commitment and making the extra effort to fulfill it is unsurpassed.
We can take the concept of a promise and carry it further into the category of making the conscious promise to ourselves to follow up on an endeavor that could touch someone’s life. It is even more powerful when it is done anonymously. I read a story recently about a little girl whose beloved dog had died. She was concerned that God may not recognize her dog in heaven. She asked her mom to write a note telling God how much she loved her dog and asking if he would play with her. The mother mailed the letter, along with a picture of the dog. She addressed it to God/Heaven. She knew it would most certainly end up in the dead letter box.
Imagine her mom’s surprise when a letter arrived soon after with the return address of God. God said that her dog had arrived safely in heaven, saying that the picture had helped him recognize her beloved pet. He assured her that her dog was not sick anymore and that she had loved being her dog. He ended it by telling her that he was easy to find because wherever there is love that is where he would be. It was signed: Love, God.
An old German proverb says, “Promises are like the full moon. If they are not kept at once, they diminish day by day.”
Steve and the person working in the dead letter section of the post office are obviously leading their lives as “full moons.” Hunter Darden-personalized copies of my books may be ordered by scrolling to the top and clicking on the link or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org