Pastor’s Corner: Promises

I have what some consider to be an annoying habit.

(Truthfully, I have a fair number of habits considered annoying by a wide number of people, including the habit of interjecting statements like this into my reflections. But to go on: )

When considering something I might do, I try to think hard about my ability to do it, and the length of time it might take to do it. Then I try to describe the limits of what I can do, or the likely slow pace. In, occasionally, great detail.

I’m trying not to over-promise.

Because I all-too-frequently underestimate the amount of time it takes me to do something, I still end up promising delivery before I can manage it. That, I think we can all agree, is annoying to everyone.

The point is that when I make promises, I want to be sure, or at least as sure as I can ever be, that I can keep them.

Last week, the President announced that the United States will break a promise: the nation will withdraw from the Paris Accords, which seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that have provoked climate change. This is bad, but fortunately the damage to the environment will be somewhat delayed, as the agreement’s provisions mean we cannot just “step away” until 2020.

The damage to our credibility as a nation, however, has happened immediately. 195 nations signed onto the Paris Accords. In announcing our departure, the US joins just two other countries — Syria and Nicaragua — in rejecting the agreement.

Worse, we’ve broken our national promise. We’ve declared that we have no intention of doing what we said we’d do.

When I break a promise, there’s only one remedy. It’s an apology.

What will this nation do in remedy for this broken promise? And for the damage it may do, having withdrawn, to coastlines and farm fields around the world? To our own islands, and to our own agriculture?

What will we do?


Pastor Eric

Addendum: After this reflection was written and went to press, Hawai’i Governor David Ige signed a bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the state. The target amounts align with the Paris Accords. I applaud the legislature’s and governor’s action.


Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , , , | Posted on June 7, 2017

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