The movie, "The Vow," raises questions of commitment and the even deeper underlying question, how hard would you fight for something, or for someone, whom you love?
Briefly, in the movie a man must win back the love of his new bride, as she has lost short term memory after a recent head injury. About a five year span has been wiped out, and she has gone back to a very different life, and very different self, than the one which she had chosen.
Our world, in its culture of hedonism, seems to have a very difficult time with commitment. I do not know if there was ever a time when I personally was capable of being as slack in commitment as some of the examples I see. This is not to say that I personally am some kind of moral example. We all, simply put, have our weaknesses and this is not one of mine.
I saw commitment at its deepest, almost 11 years ago, when I developed cancer after only two years of marriage, and then again 10 years ago when, right on top of the cancer, I injured a C-6 disc. The latter seemed, for a time, as if it might impair my mobility to an extent anywhere from serious to measurable. We now know that It didn't. The cancer, of course, though beaten in theory, could not really enter a safe zone until several years down the road.
Neither of these events were what my wife signed on for when she said, " I do." in June of 1999. Nonetheless, her commitment never wavered, despite a future which, at that time, looked uncertain.
When it comes to health issues, you really have to do most of the actual fighting to regain, for yourself. However, the commitment to stand by the one fighting to regain health impacts the loved one just as much, in different ways. It may be, in some ways, even more challenging, since you as the lover have no ability to control the fight, so to speak.
Relay for Life is approaching — May 11-12 to be exact — and the question becomes more pertinent in light of the fight against cancer. The war to defeat this disease, or collection of related diseases, or whatever it is, is no longer a matter of simply making somebody comfortable, as it was 50 years ago when my grandad had it, and waiting for the inevitable.
Figures for cures, under reasonable circumstances, now run between 30 and 80 percent. Just as an example, the type of cancer which I had, which even then was running close to a 30 percent "survival" rate, now checks in at about 50 percent, partly due to change in treatment methods which leave the body less decimated.
Key factors, of course, include how you handle it. Had I gone with the local options presented by a local surgeon, I would not be here writing this column. One must take charge of one's health care.
However, to return in context to the main theme of -how hard would you fight for commitment — I urge you to participate in Relay for Lifes, out of commitment to one, or more, whom you know who have lost, or won, a battle with cancer. Join a team, finance a team, support the many fundraisers which will be held over the next month. Make it your vow.
Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian High School. He can be contacted at: