Connie makes a resolution to be more patient no matter what, which turns out to be far more difficult than she imagined.
Odyssey's most recent resident, Connie Kendall, writes about her new home in a letter to her friend Marcy back in California. Connie describes various places and people in Odyssey: Whit's End, an ice cream parlor and discovery emporium; Tom Riley, a retired farmer and city council member; Officer David Harley, "whose brain takes an occasional vacation"; and most of all, an amazing fellow named John Avery Whittaker.
Connie describes Whit: businessman, writer, and all-around storehouse of information. Connie also tells Marcy about Whit's devotion to God. His devotion guides everything he does, even how he looks at world events - which, Connie explains, is what got her into a bit of trouble.
In a flashback, Connie and Whit listen to a news report on the radio about wars. Connie laments the world's violence remarking that if people would just get to know each other, they'd see how much they have in common, and all wars would end. Whit feels this is a noble idea, but not very realistic. Connie believes Whit is wrong. She says that peace would be possible if everyone simply promised to treat one another with kindness, gentleness, and patience.
To prove her idea is realistic, Connie makes that promise herself, on paper. She will try to be patient for four weeks. Everything goes well - for the first few days. Connie puts up with impatient customers and other irritations with grace and ease.
But later, when the kids fail to figure out a simple electric train riddle Whit tells them, Connie becomes so impatient that she explodes, belittling the kids and completely embarrassing herself. Whit explains to her that no matter how much we may want to conquer our sinful nature, we can't, it's too strong. That's why we need Jesus the only one who can transform us - and the only one who can change the world.
- Why did Connie fail to keep her promise?
- Connie said that "people are basically good." Why was she wrong?
- Read Matthew 5:33-37. What does Jesus say about making promises?
*Does not appear in album versions of the episode
Heard in episode
|Phil (Chris's Friend)||Phil Lollar|
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Tom Riley||Walker Edmiston|
|John Whittaker||Hal Smith|
|David Harley*||Will Ryan|
Mentioned in episode
|June Kendall||Connie Kendall|
|Bill Kendall||Connie Kendall|
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view]
- This was the first episode edited to remove Officer Harley, a comical police officer who appeared in several early episodes. The re-recorded version without Officer Harley aired on October 1st, 1988 and was used in Album #1: The Early Classics and all later releases of the episode.
- An alternate version of this episode features a slightly-expanded closing wrap of the episode. In this version, when Phil finally arrives to take Chris bowling, Chris asks why he's carrying a tennis racket.
- When this episode originally aired it took on the theme of "New Year's Resolutions" as well as "Promises", but references to New Years were omitted on subsequent broadcasts.
- The "Phil" that Chris Anthony talks to on the phone in this episode is Phil Lollar, writer and director for AIO.
- In the early days of Adventures in Odyssey, the regular cast (aside from Whit, Tom Riley, Connie Kendall and the ill-fated David Harley) was constantly shifting. As a result, it wasn't uncommon for characters to appear in only a couple of episodes and actors usually found themselves playing a different character every episode.
- The conversation between Whit and Tom in this episode was originally used in the Family Portraits episode #FP01: “Whit's Visitor”, although it is slightly different.
- Whit contradicts Connie's ideas about the goodness of man. Later, Connie does the same thing to Eugene in #169: “Hold Up!”.
- Connie's description of religious types who "shave their head" and "hang around airports" is most likely a reference to the Hare Krishna movement.
- The radio broadcast that ends up spurring the conversation between Whit and Connie about good and evil seems to discuss ongoing tensions between Israel and Palestine.
- Connie's dog Kitty is mentioned in this episode. The dog is never mentioned again.
- Connie says that Whit used to own an encyclopedia company, even though he still owns it to this day. However, it's possible that she's technically correct in that he may not actually own it but is still the chairman of the board.
- Adventures in Odyssey Headquarters: Read
- At Whit's End: Read
- The Soda Fountain: Read
- AIO Update: Read
Connie Kendall: ...By the way, tell her we got a dog too. A beautiful golden Labrador retriever. You know what we call her? Kitty!
John Whittaker: You see Connie, you believe that deep down everyone is good and if we all just somehow tap into that inner goodness we can make the world a whole lot nicer. Well I'm sorry, but that's just not the case. The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That's why I just shake my head and laugh when I hear someone make a promise to be a better person. That's like treating the symptoms and ignoring the disease.
Connie Kendall: But you can't just sit back and do nothing! I mean, doesn't the Bible say the Lord helps those who helps themselves?
John Whittaker: No, it doesn't. Besides, I'm not talking about doing nothing, I'm just saying that the cause of the problems runs a lot deeper than a simple promise can reach, no matter how good your intentions are.
Connie Kendall: So I was right when I said it was hopeless.
John Whittaker: No, there's hope, lots of it. You're just putting it in the wrong place. You've got to look deep down on the inside, way down into your soul. That's where the changing has to start. That's why the Bible says "Don't be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." What that means is we have to let God renew our mind. He's got to change us on the inside before results start showing on the outside.