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  • Writer's pictureJamie DeChaine

The Journey on Joy

Recently, I had a wonderful opportunity to jump on a cruise ship named Joy with my wife and disconnect from everything and everyone. How eye-opening of an experience. The relatability below may entice you to take your own exploration through hard truths and rocky waters.

Here’s a few thought-bombs I learned while on this unexpected, revelatory trip:

There are two things you have absolute control over: attitude and effort.

While walking through the ship, it became apparent how selfish people are…including myself. You know what inhabits selfishness? Ego. Man, I did not realize how one can flaunt their ego so quickly and offensively.

It was the most obvious when I went to the ship’s buffet at anytime of the cruise. One, kind lady cut in front of my father-in-law and snidely said while pointing her finger, “Don’t you challenge me!” when told there was a line. Jokingly, he said he was scared of her, but ultimately gave her way to the front of the line. His remark? “We’re all on vacation and not in a hurry.” Wise words for sure.

I wasn’t so forgiving at times. Am I better than any one person on the ship? Absolutely not, but “yes” according to my ego. Ouch.

After a few days in, I quickly realized I needed to control my attitude, not others rude or offensive actions and remarks. Controlling your attitude requires effort, yet to give effort requires a determined attitude.

What would controlling attitude and effort in your life look like? The truth goes beyond how you interact with people. It determines your current future. More on that in a bit…

Cell phone addiction is a real pandemic to one’s own time and growth.

My wife told me I was addicted to my phone on the second day aboard the ship. Defensively, I replied, “No! I am not.” Yes, yes I am. Funny how this yes/no paradox keeps playing out…

Being on a cruise ship nowadays, you pay for everything, including wifi. So, dumb. However, in my case, it was needed. I control what I do and don’t on my phone, including my time. Ha! So naive of myself.

I use my phone for EVERYTHING. Texts, emails, internet, and most iPhone apps I use on the daily require connection. It’s laughable yet revealing how connection to everything disconnects you from your everything.

I’ve had a decent amount of conversations and thankful moments with God by simply being disconnected from everything. To admit my phone has been a god in my life is like swallowing the nastiest cough syrup: Tastes terrible going down but will help remedy the infection. Little “g” gods need to walk the plank off this cruise ship of life.

After a few days of figuring out my ego, the closeness and connection with my wife has been more sanguine than forced. Marriage doesn’t equate connection, pursuit does. If you are not pursuing your first mate, you are missing the greatest connective tissue from your heart to their own. Was I bad before the trip? No, but I wasn’t great.

We played 9 holes of putt putt on the ship. It was pretty fun! Each hole even had the “par 3” or “par 2” tags as you played. Par is baseline or substandard. Do better and you’re great! Do worse and you bogey. It took removing “connective access” through my phone to realize I’ve been hitting par to bogey at times in marriage. Now, I’m probably being more harsh on myself than I should, but it doesn’t escape the facts I hold in high regard: what’s important. More on that in a sec…

Not only can your phone quickly disconnect you from God, it can also do the same to your spouse: both of which are your everything…or at least my everything.

Want some eye-popping stats? Go check your screen time on your phone and I guarantee you will be surprised with the time spent. Time is either spent or invested. Where does time sit with you?

Keep the main thing, the main thing.

At the beginning of this year, I weighed around 210 pounds. The last portion of 2022 was spent on growing in strength and muscle. Knowing I had a cruise coming up in May, a diet plan would be needed to cut down weight and body fat gained through the “bulking” season. I dieted and hit the gym almost twice a day leading up to the trip. I finished my cut at 185 pounds. The wife said I looked the best yet in our marriage!

There’s a funny thing about vacations: you can unravel all of the hard work of diet and fitness insanely quick. Vacation can give you the wrong rights if you let it.

I was looking forward to all of the food and desserts I could finally eat on the cruise. I wouldn’t have to worry about calories in/out, carbs, or water intake as I once did. I was on vacation and that’s all that mattered. Towards the end of the cruise, I was regretting my “rights of vacation” and humbly kept my shirt on while out in the sun.

Take anyone who has been on a strict regiment of any kind and give them all the wrong rights, and if chosen, you will eventually see a regrettable, self-induced attitude of body image hysteria.

Keeping the main thing, the main thing means never giving into the wrong rights…keeping what’s important in front of you always. You can find yourself in a hole of stress and anxiety caused only by yourself.

In my case, did I really diet strictly for 12 weeks just to blow it all in 12 days? Your own choices can create chaotic consequences if you let them. You must be careful what ‘right’ you choose. I am by no means in bad shape, but I will have to be stricter to attain my goals going forward to make up from my own decisions. Decisions determine destiny. Every time you say yes to your destiny, you say no to others. Whatever destiny you hold to, keep it the main thing.

In every area of life, you have a main thing.

God is my main thing.

Jesus is my main thing.

More of the Holy Spirit is my main thing.

A pursuant marriage is my main thing.

Health and fitness are my main things.

Attitude and effort reflect in all of them.

After the cruise, I will be regaining the main thing with attitude and effort. The reset this vacation brought was necessary to visually and imperatively show me where I was digging my own pitfalls, even lies I told and believed in myself. You may not need a vacation to see truth behind your own lies to yourself. However, once you expose them within you, your choice of destiny becomes clearer.

Whatever your main thing(s) are, never stop pursuing them with attitude and effort under control.


Up Next: The next post coming soon will talk about why Ourtery is now a 1-host podcast.

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