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“Any fun trips or exciting travel plans on your calendar?”
The question scoots around our family gatherings, outings with friends, and the office Keurig. Oh, how we hope to “o-o-h and a-h-h” our listeners with fascinating details before we even experience them for ourselves. The anticipation builds as we count down the days to a bon voyage worth waiting for.
Trips. A planned or spontaneous travel schedule. Most-liked vacation spots. Places familiar or unknown. Traveling abroad. An excursion by sea. A long haul by chartered bus. Flying with frequent flyer miles. Going across the country in an RV. Guided tours. Historical landmarks. The mountains. A natural wonder. The beach. Tropical climates. Soaring altitudes. Resorts for sight seekers, adventure junkies, and tourists of all shapes and sizes.
Crossing out a bucket list item—going somewhere we’ve never visited. Even people are labeled trips (not my first choice for travel companions).
Whether a one-way trip or round-trip; a short or extended stay; whatever the mode of transportation, it’s movement toward a point of destination. A journey for recreation, relaxation, and getaways—a means to escape.
But sometimes we go on trips and land somewhere we never intended to pay a visit. Guilt trips qualify. Guilt trips make us painfully aware of being stuck in an unwanted place. And we feel it deep inside. A restless, unsettled state of wishing we were home—back to familiar surroundings. A safe place. Those times confirming there’s really no place like home.
Maybe, like me, you navigate your way to a guilt trip often. A well-acquainted road that’s clearly marked. A recent destination on our GPS-Global Positioning System. Guilt tracks the route to position us in the same place each time—shame, disgrace, dishonor, and condemnation.
So acting as travel agents, we book people on guilt trips by arranging the details. And we allow others to not only purchase our tickets, but to also handle all the accommodations. Family, friends, co-workers, and ministry leaders all fall into the “others” category. Tripping we pray doesn’t turn into a long pilgrimage, paying homage to the person causing the trip. Because stowaways, manipulation and control, often come along for the ride. Leaving us wondering why we signed up for this and if we signed up for this.
We even send ourselves off to this undesired port of call as if part of an itinerary. Bidding a farewell less than celebratory.
Throughout our lives, attempts will be made to book us on a guilt trip. But it’s a trip we don’t have to take. Here’s a “do not” checklist to safeguard against guilt trips.
- Do not accept the invitation.
- Do not schedule it on your calendar.
- Do not secure a passport.
- Do not confirm reservations.
- Do not pack your bags.
And…it is absolutely vital you discard any carry-on luggage. Stow nothing in guilt’s passenger compartment. Guilt always meets customer service standards, “Your baggage fits perfectly here for safe keeping and easy retrieval when you arrive at your destination.”
For years—on a regular basis—I checked into The Guilt & Shame Inn. Although you may see me there on occasion, I’m no longer a frequent guest. Today, you will find me as the Lord’s guest in Freedom’s Hotel. Christ is the owner. He alone books and confirms reservations. And Jesus Christ cancels reservations on present and future guilt trips.
Through Jesus, we have our HPS-Heavenly Positioning System. A navigation system set in motion simply by answering His call, “Follow Me.” Here, God positions us for forgiveness, blessing, honor, and grace. A place of spiritual cleansing and freedom.
I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me (Jeremiah 33:8 ESV). Christ…offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3b AMP).
Let’s take a pilgrimage to the Promised Land. An all-inclusive spiritual resort with pre-paid accommodations lasting forever. An eternal feast awaits us at God’s banquet table. And Jesus is saving us a seat. Bask in the Son and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. There are no farewells. All patrons participate in ongoing worship and pay homage to the only sacred, deserving One.
Design and text of featured image created in Adobe Spark.