The Tattoo Commitment
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29
I’ve never had much interest in getting a tattoo. I have nothing against them. I simply know that I’m much too fickle to pick something that is going to be on my body for the rest of my life. When I was 12, I had a favorite shirt. It’s been gone for years though and I’m glad it’s gone. I’m thankful that I’m not stuck wearing that shirt for the rest of my life. It was, in retrospect, hideous. I simply don’t like now what I liked back then. So, I’ve always seen my preferences as much too erratic to pick out a forever tattoo – that is, until recently.
Almost daily, I go to the gym, where I take off my wedding ring to lift weights. My wife got me one of those silicone rings to wear, but still, it catches on the bar. So, last spring, I came up with an elegant solution and got my one and only tattoo – a wedding band on my ring finger. With tongue in cheek, I told my wife that after 23 years of marriage, I felt it was safe to make a commitment to the tattoo. Honestly though, our marriage is one of the few things in life that I’m confident enough in that I’ll commit to a tattoo representing it.
The fact remains however – my appetite and preferences are fickle. They constantly change and are not reliable enough to build a life upon. I must follow something though. By default, if I don’t choose anything else, I invariably end up following my impulsive, inconsistent nature. Doing whatever I want is exactly what once led to my drug addiction and all its painful consequences.
Now, in recovery, I must anchor my life to something outside myself. Instead of following the impulsive, erratic, and destructive, I require something stable, permanent, and virtuous. Today’s passage says that this thing is God. He is the only unchanging constant in the universe that can adequately serve as an anchor for my life. He is the only consistent answer to my life’s greatest needs and so, I must daily follow him.
Even tattoos don’t last forever. They can be undone and this body will eventually fade. The Bible teaches though that my soul lasts forever and that the one thing in this universe that I can rely upon to be constant, is God. So, if I want to build my life on something unshakeable, faithful, and good, then I must daily abandon my instability for God’s permanence.