Every sabbath day Aaron shall set them in order before the LORD regularly as a commitment of the people of Israel, as a covenant forever. (Leviticus 24:8 NRSV)

Tim Bowden, in his book ONE CROWDED HOUR, tells an amusing story about an incident that happened in Borneo during the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia in 1964. A group of Gurkhas from Nepal were asked if they would be willing to jump from transport planes into combat against the Indonesians if the need arose. The Gurkhas had the right to turn down the request because they had never been trained as paratroopers.

The Gurkhas usually agreed to anything, but on this occasion they said no. The next day one of their NCO's sought out the British officer who made the request. He said they had discussed the matter further and would be prepared to jump under certain conditions. "What are they?" asked the British officer. The Gurkhas told him they would jump if the land was marshy or reasonably soft with no rocky outcrops. Also they wanted the plane to fly as slowly as possible and no more than one hundred feet high. The British officer pointed out the planes always did fly as slowly as possible when dropping troops. However, he noted, to jump from one hundred feet was impossible, because the parachutes would not open in time from that height.

"Oh," said the Gurkhas, "that's all right, then. We'll jump with parachutes anywhere. You didn't mention parachutes before!"

Now, that's commitment. Think how much better off our churches would be, our jobs would be, our marriages would be, with that level of commitment.


Lord Jesus, may my commitment grow to be like yours. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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