I always thought it would be easy. I always figured I’d just be able to do it. But as usual, I was wrong.
This upcoming May, I have been given the opportunity to lead a missions trip to Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. Coming with me on this trip will be a combination of students from Hope, friends of mine from Pittsburgh, and some adult leaders from, well, all over the place, actually. Like I was saying, I guess I never thought about the consequences, both good and bad, that can result from leading a team of college aged kids to a third world nation. My closest friends and family would tell you that I have a bad habit of over thinking just about everything. As you can probably imagine, there have been quite a few things that have weighed heavily on my conscience regarding this trip. It starts off with something simple like:
- What if these people don’t have as much fun in Haiti as I tell them they’re going to? Or…
- What if we miss our flights? Or…
- What if nobody wants to come?
Very quickly these simple issues turn into much more extreme anxieties, (I guess you could call them that), inside my head:
- What if we get stuck in Haiti? Or…
- What are the odds someone gets malaria?
You get the point. My mind starts playing tricks on me, and as many of us know, if we’re not careful we can become paralyzed by our own thoughts. It’s funny how 6 or 7 months down the road when I’m writing an email to the Haiti team after a successful trip, I’ll laugh at the idea of these anxious notions. Taking all of this into consideration, I can come to the conclusion that I’m totally stoked to be going back to Haiti.
As Thanksgiving fast approaches, I know the holidays can be stressful, and for a whole lot of different reasons. I know personally, school work this week really has been piling up. So other Hope students out there, I’m with you. Turkey and your own bed is just around the corner, keep that in mind.
Maybe you’re in my Mom’s spot. Wondering how you’re going to host a Thanksgiving dinner in less than a week, while taking care of that deadline at the office.
Or, on a less serious note, you’re in chaplain Jerry Root’s shoes. Where that golf game you played over the weekend was just “alright”, as he would put it.
Wherever you’re at, take a deep breath, and just thank the Good Lord for allowing you to be. What a privilege it is! My encouragement this time around is to realize that the greatest gift you’re going to receive this year is another day to live. In my case, it’s the gift to lead. Don’t over think it, as Nike would say, just do it. But really, whatever’s in your way, whether it’s a David, or a Goliath, have confidence that He who is in you is greater than anything you’ll face in this world.
Happy Thanksgiving! Cherish the time with family. Eat lots of mashed potatoes.