“Any fun trips planned this year?”
The question scoots around our family gatherings, outings with friends, and the office Keurig. We hope to “o-o-h and a-h-h” our listeners with fascinating details.
Trips. A planned or spontaneous travel schedule. Favorite vacation spots. Places familiar or un-known. Traveling abroad. A voyage by sea. 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 you’ve never visited. Even people are labeled trips.
Whatever the mode of transportation. Whether a one-way-trip or round-trip. Short or extended stay. It’s movement toward a point of destination. A journey for recreation, relaxation, and geta-ways—a means to escape.
But sometimes we go on trips and land somewhere we’d rather not visit. The worst trips ever.
Guilt trips qualify. Guilt trips make us painfully aware of being stuck in an unwanted place. We feel it deep inside. A restless, unsettled state of wishing we were home—back to familiar sur-roundings. A safe place.
Maybe, like me, you navigate your way to a guilt trip often. A well-acquainted road…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 self-condemnation.
Acting as travel agents we make arrangements for others to go on guilt trips and allow others to take us there. Family, friends, co-workers, and ministry leaders each fall in the “others” category. Tripping we pray doesn’t turn into a long pilgrimage to pay homage to the person causing the trip. The stowaways, manipulation and control, come along for the ride.
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.
A “do not” checklist for 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 a guest in Free-dom’s Motel. God is the owner. He (alone) books and confirms reservations. God cancels reser-vations on present and future guilt trips.
Through Christ, we have our HPS-Heavenly Positioning System. A navigation system set in mo-tion simply by answering His call, “Follow Me.” Here we are positioned for forgiveness, blessing, honor, and grace. A place of spiritual cleansing and freedom.
Let’s take a pilgrimage to the promised land. An all-inclusive spiritual resort with pre-paid ac-commodations lasting forever. There’s an eternal feast at God’s banquet table. Bask in The Son and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. There are no farewells and we will give worshipful homage to the only sacred, deserving One. God.
“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). “…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).