I remember times                                                                                                  
when I have made                                                                                              
commitments in my life.                                                                                             
And once the commitment was made,                                                                             
a world opened up to me                                                                                       
that would have otherwise                                                                                            
never opened to me.                                                                                           

I remember when I decided to be a marriage and family therapist. Once that decision
was made, I began to walk down a path. I was 42 years old.

I had no idea how I would pay for it...
but it all worked out in the end that I never had to pay a penny
because I got involved in a university program
that helped others get more healthy in life---
and because of that, they gave me my tuition for free.

I had no idea how I would do with studies...
but I met some people and I asked if they would like to be in a study group.
And we continued in that group for two years together
and we helped each other get all the way through to the end.
I ended up with a 4.0.
The best I ever did in college when I was in the early twenties was a C+ average.
I was amazed at myself.

                                I had no idea how I was going to raise my family
                                 and be a full-time student.
                            But we all pitched in together with more focus and love
                                    and became more tightly knitted together.

Goethe writes a piece of prose
on the subject of being committed to something.
And once we get committed,
all sort of unseen things start to happen that could have never happened before.
I have witnessed this in my life several times.
And I want to encourage any of you
that are on the threshold of starting something new,
of making a commitment towards something big,
to read this....

Here is the prose from Goethe:

Until One is Committed

"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 never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision...
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents
and meetings and material assistance,
which no person could have dreamed would have come their way.

Whatever you can do,
or dream you can,
begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

                                                        This is true of my marriage also.
                                                    We have been married for 34 (2003) years now.
                                            And over those years we have had sometimes
                                                that have really tested us.
                                                        But each time that my wife and I
                                                        made a commitment to "us"
                                                          and meant way out....
                                                               Providence moved too.
And "...all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance,
which we could not have dreamed, came our way."

Relationships that stay committed
and offer no other way out,
find a way to a new place.
If there is hesitancy or a chance to get out of a commitment,
we will not make it through.

Something happens when people come together
and keep their commitments.
We find new and deeper places
and better places to live with each other.
There is something that happens in the "pressure cooker" of living life,
that helps us get to new places
we could have never arrived at before.

I am a witness to these words...and pass them on to you...