COLUMN STELPFLUG: Promises easier to make than to keep | Opinion
When my dog’s life flowed from him, I was devastated. I did what any good 12 year old Catholic girl would do; I promised God that I would become a nun if he let my dog live.
I was not above negotiating and my dog was my best friend, my confidant, and the one thing I loved more than anything. I mentioned that I was very dramatic at that time, didn’t I? But his disappearance was not my decision. Promises or not.
Becoming a nun was not in my future. I didn’t even look good in black, the color of the convent at the time, and I was hardly a candidate for reverence or piety. I knew it was a superficial promise and that it was really unfair to put God in that position.
How many promises do we make to ourselves or to others that fall apart because there are always extenuating circumstances? In the case of my wonderful, loving but blind dog, my parents put him to sleep while I was in school. It took years to forgive the big dog that bit him, as well as the dog’s owners, although I kept it to themselves. I also blamed my mom, because I assumed it was her idea.
It was out of my control, bargain or not, a 12-year-old’s promises cannot always be trusted. As adults, however, we do the same.
We promise to train every day. Then we have an unexpected work deadline or mission or errands and that promise is broken. We do winter shoveling or summer gardening and decide the best workout is one that has a by-product. Now we have just justified breaking our promise to ourselves.