Fulfillment. It does not come through comfort or convenience, although that’s what Western culture sells us. In the ancient Greek culture things that were deemed as comfortable were seen as producers of weakness in the soul.
Consuming comfort is like eating junk food expecting it to fuel your body. Feeding continually on comfort will leave your soul feeling dissatisfied.
Although that does remind me of the time my good friends Erik Hansen from Webster Street Media, Kent Harle and I were scouting for water well drilling locations in Haiti. A trip designed to be a fun adventure while we scouted new locations for You Help Haiti, turned into a seriously challenging week long journey.
We had planned to ride motocross bikes through the roadless terrain to expedite the travel time. But early on day one Erik had a nasty crash while riding with a crazy Haitian pastor who was screaming “you’ve got to get the fear out.” Needless to say we had picked up some minor injuries and exchanged the motorcycles for a beat up truck
Low on food and in a very remote part of the country, we lived on beef jerky and Skittles for three days. We slept on concrete floors while Erik stayed up with a headlamp burning, hunting the tarantulas as they crawled out of the cracks in the walls.
Each morning we loaded up and bounced down rocky trails for six to eight hours a day. As we rode in the back of that old pick up, we strategized about overcoming poverty, our senses slowly drinking in the landscape and Haitian culture. On the fourth night I begged a lady at the Catholic compound to let us stay the night. She relented and I celebrated with a cold can of uncooked Chunky soup.
During that trip we mapped out a dozen locations for communities who had no fresh drinking water for miles. It encouraged the hearts of Haitians in every community we touched.
As we got on the plane to fly home at the end of the week, we all felt the power of real fulfillment. I have learned that fulfillment comes through accomplishment. And typically accomplishments only achieved through difficulty. Participation ribbons need not apply.
Don’t shy away from taking risks, or exposing yourself to downside. When courage and determination carry your faith, you can achieve difficult things and find a fulfillment that people long to buy, but cannot be purchased with money. Real fulfillment can only be purchased with determination and courage.