Count on Me

by Phyllis Bourque

Many years ago, when my daughter was attending the local community college, she and I had an arrangement where I would drop her off at the college on my way to work, then pick her up on my way home. It worked well for the most part, though she often had to endure a longer day than necessary, due to me occasionally staying later at work.  Since there were no cell phones then, I had no way of letting her know I would be late.

She was usually happy when I arrived at the end of the day; however, I noticed there were times when she was silently mad and wouldn’t engage in conversation. When I tried to find out what was wrong, she offered no reason. I was puzzled as to this behavior of sometimes being happy, sometimes unhappy… with me, apparently.

One day it finally hit me. I noticed that her happiness was directly connected with me picking her up at the appointed time, and her unhappiness was connected with the days that I stayed later at work. In her mind, she couldn’t count on me to be there as we had initially arranged, though she was unable to express it at that time.

Once I understood the connections, I made a point of not staying later at work, and what a difference it made in her disposition! She was always happy to see me and was eager to share her day!

In the years since, I have noticed a similar behavior in myself, whereas I am happy when I can count on someone, and unhappy when I can’t. When it was important, I have tried to explain the need to be reliable, but I also questioned my own reliability in terms of whether or not people can count on me. In fact, and more importantly, I have questioned whether God can count on my spiritual commitment.

I can easily claim to count on God and His promises, but can He count on me and my verbal promises? Can He count on me to follow up my words with appropriate actions? Can He count on my endurance in the race He has called me to run? Interesting questions that only I can answer, and if the answer is “No,” I need to make whatever corrections are necessary to be able to answer: “Yes! He can count on me.”

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