Thoughts of a Warrior Fish

Category: Warrior

To Haiti and Back Again

Our company supports an orphan care and prevention center there called myLIFEspeaks. For the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel with a handful of coworkers, to a small village in Haiti called Neply (about 30 miles outside of Port Au Prince).  Upon arrival, we’re immediately immersed in the village’s daily life and spend the next 7 days serving the community; connecting with everyone from infants to endangered teens and village elders.

One of the best parts of this trip for me is seeing the impact it has on new team members. On the way home from our most recent trip, I asked them if they viewed the city of Port Au Prince differently coming home than they did when they first arrived. Their answer surprised me. They said that the trip through the city streets was much harder to digest on the way BACK to the airport, than it was when they first arrived. I thought that the biggest shock would be coming from the United States to a city like Port Au Prince. I was wrong.

Guilt – What a Trip!

My entire life has been an exercise in guilt.  There’s the obvious guilt – when I’ve done something wrong, and the Holy Spirit is reminding me I need to make it right. That’s healthy; that’s good; and that’s where conviction serves its true purpose.

But no, I’ve bought into a more twisted guilt that ultimately leads to my disadvantage, and affects the lives of everyone around me. See, I have a tendency to feel guilty for not only things I’ve done wrong, but for things I’ve done right. Yup. Why should I feel guilty when I’ve done something right? Because the enemy whispers in my ear saying I don’t deserve what goes well for me, and I listen. I did nothing to deserve the wonderful family and freakishly amazing friends that I have. I must have really fooled them all somehow, right? The Bible says we don’t deserve love on our own merits. So isn’t it hypocritical to accept blessings we don’t deserve? No – absolutely no. Allowing those thoughts to take root is what I call “runaway guilt”, and we can conquer it.

Guardrails vs. Roadblocks

I’ve listened to a series recently about establishing guardrails in our lives to guide us in the right direction and protect us from harm. For example, if someone has an inclination toward gambling addiction, a good guardrail might be to avoid the poker table. The more you expose yourself to a temptation, the more likely you are to compromise your principles, make excuses and avoid accountability.

What I realized in going through the series though, is that there are areas in my life where I’ve established a guardrail, that actually became a roadblock instead. What I thought was a boundary put in place to protect a relationship damaged it in the long run. 

One bite at a time . . .

As an avid lover of elephants, I cringe every time I hear the question, “How do you eat an elephant?”.  That is not an image I need in my head! But no matter how uncomfortable it makes me, I must admit that the adage is right. We can only conquer something that seems large by taking it on in small pieces. It’s a basic principle of time and task management. But if there’s such an obvious solution, why do so many of us struggle with feeling overwhelmed?

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