Are we over-complicating it?

Published by Pastor Mike on

There is a Marine training camp in South Carolina with a problem-solving obstacle course that the cadets must go through. The officers pair each cadet with a team member he or she has never met, and they have ten minutes to solve each obstacle. My therapist went through this obstacle course when he was a Marine and told me the story of his experience. He explained how his team approached the first obstacle, a 50-gallon metal drum and a 10-foot wide body of water. The objective was to get the metal drum from one side to the other. As they approached the obstacle, they noticed there were planks of wood long enough to reach the other side and a pile of rope. Rather than getting to work, they wasted the first five minutes trying to figure out who would be the team leader. Finally, they decided to place the planks of wood across the pit and roll the drum across, but the wood broke and they had to pull the metal drum out of the water. The team then had to decide if they could use the ropes to maneuver the drum over the water, and in their struggle, they ran out of time. As they were standing around feeling defeated, the officer came up to them and asked, “Who said you couldn’t get the barrel wet?” As he spoke, the next group came running in; they threw the barrel in the water, and it floated. Within 90 seconds, they pushed the metal drum across the other side and moved on to the next obstacle.

The moral of the story is that sometimes we overcomplicate the solution to the problems we are facing. Sometimes you know the answer to the problem, yet you still over think it or overuse excuses about your situation. Just because the solution may be more straightforward than we want to admit, does not mean it is necessarily easy to pull off. You still have to make the decision and execute it. You may have to get wet and dirty to pull it off, and you may have to exert yourself to get your problem to the other side. Living life on a budget is a simple solution, but it takes discipline and hard work to pull off. Going to counseling for your marriage’s health is what you know you need to do, but it is not at all easy healing from the pains of your past. Counting calories and working out is the best way to lose weight, but it’s not necessarily a piece of cake (pun intended). Going back to school to get a degree in your dream field is the only answer for that job, but we all know the next several years will take a tremendous amount of commitment on your part. Being consistent with your Spiritual Disciplines is something we all know we need to do to grow deeper in our relationship with God, but we all know that means making God our priority when it comes to our schedule.

So here is my encouragement. START. You know in your heart what you must do now is the time to do it!

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. Zechariah 4:10 NLT

Thanks for reading!
Let me know what you need to start doing in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!


Deborah · August 19, 2020 at 10:35 am

Thank you. I have a tendency to overthink things. This morning I woke up frustrated with myself about my career and contemplating that I should go back to work part-time even though wearing a mask for 4 hours will make it hard for me to breathe and creates health issues for me personally. Your message was on time. I only need to share with more people about the opportunity to partner with us on developing this film with a message of hope to the lost, and those that God has called and equipped will stand together with us. It’s just hard knowing that there are 15.5 million children living in severe violent homes. And then to have a 12 year old son killed by his father in Bolivar put my heart in control more than my mind. Thank you for encouraging me this morning. I don’t know why your post went into my spam folder, but when I saw the title, I knew I had to read it!

    Pastor Mike · August 25, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Deborah thank you so much for being so vulnerable in sharing this! I am so glad you got to be encouraged!

Jonathan Wheeler · August 20, 2020 at 2:48 am

Thank you so much for these words of encouragement and the amazing ability you have of painting a picture that we can visualize. We are blessed to have your leadership.

    Pastor Mike · August 25, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you for your kind words!

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