Decisions: Life on earth basically comes down to a constant flow of decisions. Whether you realize it or not you’re making decisions every moment. You decide what you will eat, where you will work, what time you will get up, what values you will follow, what you say to others, how you react to others, et cetera. From the smallest decisions like selecting your morning cereal to the largest decision like choosing to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior — Decisions are the fabric of life. Some people never realize the power of their decisions and drift through life letting others influence their path or decide for them. But you are unique, and to truly realize your full potential, you must first examine yourself and understand the power of your decisions. “Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air.” — 1 Corinthians 9:26
The Invisible Hand: With decisions being so important it’s incumbent to recognize the forces that are out to influence our decisions. In modern society, without ceasing, influencers assault your decision-making and attempt to enslave you into a life of consumerism. Look at any mobile advert, web search, tv program, billboard, or storefront and you will see an attempt to influence your decision-making. Most of these influencers succeed leaving a vast majority of people in debt. As a society we buy things we don’t need and enslave ourselves to objects. We think we are masters over our possessions, but in reality, they own us. People take on debt and exchange their freedom….and for what? A new car, tv, or the latest fashion? We are a debt society that feeds on the weakness of our own decisions. We sell our freedom as quickly as Esau sold his inheritance for a bowl of soup. And with that in mind, it begs the question — What level of freedom are you willing to exchange for that new item? The decision is yours, but realize more often than not most people choose the new item because that is the habit of our society. Everyone else is doing it, so why not me? This is the invisible hand that guides most people — a consumerist need to buy, then shortly after the thrill fades, buy something new again — rinse and repeat. It’s an addiction. Except, in this case, it’s an addiction practiced by everyone, nearly everywhere in the world. To want something new is not a sin, but when it becomes the purpose of your existence you are on a path of misery. How can you achieve any great goal if you are addicted to consuming? There must be a better way. “...Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." — Joshua 24:15
Sculpting A Meaningful Life: To follow a meaningful life you have to learn to let go. When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, He said, “‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” — Matthew 4:19-20. You have to leave your nets if you want to live a better life. Meaning, you need leave behind whatever isn’t needed. There is freedom in simplicity. You might not be caught up in a consumerist drive, but something else might be influencing your decisions for the worse and it’s important to recognize exactly what holding you back so you can drop it and move forward. When you find your focus and let go of the rest you’ll realize you’re able to accomplish some pretty amazing things. Life is a lot easier when you aren’t trapped by the wants of this world. Living a unique and uncommon life requires you to embrace an uncommon approach. It won’t be popular to turn your back on what the world values, but remember it's not called the narrow gate for nothing. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. ‘For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” — Matthew 7:13-14
Mission, Tools, Movement: In the military community there is a system, developed by Ex-Navy Seal Richard Machowicz, called the Play For Dynamic Combat. This system has three principles — Target, Weapons, Movement. Here is how Machowicz describes it: “Basically, it’s: Targets dictate the weapons. Weapons dictate movement. As long as you are very clear on what your target is, you don’t even have to think, and weapons will show up. You don’t have to think and the appropriate movement will show up. That way you see the things that matter vs. all the things that don’t. That’s what we’re competing for on a second-by-second basis, especially under stress and pressure. You’re competing with all the information that doesn’t matter vs. the specific information that does. And what happens is most people fixate on the minutiae that don’t matter vs. the one laser point that will drive them to the thing they want to accomplish.” The system Machowicz is describing can be applied to all aspects of life and not only in combat situations as he’s highlighting. For example, instead of Target, Weapons, Movement we could call what we do at Travel the Road — Mission, Tools, Movement. So, when we undertake a journey to a remote region, we have a specific people group that is our mission. The tools we use to get there are planes, cars, boats, trucks, trekking, GPS, et cetera and those tools dictate our movement. As long as our focus is clearly on the mission, the tools and movement will become evident and obvious. For us, personally, we own very little and travel light and fast. Owning a car, home, or other non-essential items isn't necessary to accomplish our mission. The key is that the mission dictates our tools and movement. Not everyone is the same. We all have a different purpose. But it is important to ask yourself, “Do I have a decisive focus on the mission for my life? Are the tools I am collecting a benefit or a distraction for my mission? If you are honest with yourself, you’ll probably identify a lot of non-essential tools you have gathered along the way. It's your decision what to do next.
At Travel the Road, we have always sought to have a decisive aim in our mission. It is the very core of what we do and the specifics of our lives as a whole. Preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth and encourage the church to be active in the Great Commission — Mission Statement of Travel the Road. For over 19-years we have followed the purpose God has set for our lives. We have preached the gospel in 129 countries, created 57 episodes of content, and witnessed the Lord work in miraculous ways. As we have trusted God and followed His path He has never let us down and always made a way. Moreover, we are so blessed that you are with us every step of the way, in both prayers and financial support. It is through your partnership that the doors of ministry are opened to undertake new Gospel Expeditions. Thank you for your giving heart! Peace be with you.
Tim and Will