In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9

Have you noticed recurring themes in your life when it comes to the challenges you face?

Does it seem like every time you turn around, you have…

  • Too much on your plate?
  • A communication breakdown?
  • Health issues?
  • Cash flow issues?

You could call these “boomerang challenges” because they continually come back into your life until you learn how to deal with them permanently. I view these challenges as tolerations, as you have made the choice to allow them to continue to come back into your life.

These tolerations can fundamentally test your patience, resolve, and character, and will certainly rob you of your energy, presence, focus, and peace if you don’t take care of them.

The good news is, you can take steps to ensure that your boomerang challenges bring you closer to Jesus and make you a more compassionate and resilient servant leader:

Step 1: Acknowledge the pattern.

What challenges do you find yourself coming up against again and again?

Document them, and then pick one core boomerang challenge that you want to prioritize and prevent from re-occurring.

You may be acutely aware of your core boomerang challenge. Or, you may have found ways to protect yourself from acknowledging it. You might need to ask your loved ones for support and insight. If so, ask the people closest to you to consider the following: Over the last 5 years, when you’ve talked about the challenges you’ve faced, in what way have you sounded like a broken record?

You’ll be surprised at how quickly they answer!

Open yourself up to this feedback, even if it makes you feel vulnerable. Be proud of your work in acknowledging this core boomerang challenge.

Step 2: Document the effect.

Once you’ve pinpointed your core boomerang challenge, write down all the ways you’re holding yourself back by not resolving this central issue once and for all.

Over the past 5 years, what has it cost you to ignore the symptoms that lead to the continual reprise of your core boomerang challenge? Where have you witnessed the effects…




How have your relationships suffered? Your performance? Your purpose?

Be candid. Be detailed. No one has to see this list but you. But you do need to see it – the compounded costs of allowing this issue to linger in your life, laid out before you, in your own handwriting.

To plot a new course, you’ve first got to convince yourself that your current trajectory won’t get you to where you want to go.

Step 3: Clarify your preferred future.

What would change for you as a servant leader if you resolved your boomerang challenge permanently?

What do you wish would change?

Give yourself permission to dream big. What does it look like to no longer be distracted by the stress and pressure your boomerang challenge presents in your life? Envision not being held back by that “one thing” that tugs on your conscience.

Write your preferred future down. Then, write down how you feel, now that you are free of “it.” How will you be liberated, specifically, and how will that freedom allow you to serve with more stamina, deeper commitment, and greater love?

Step 4: Pray for strength.

If boomerang challenges were easy to work through and release, no one would still have them. Yet, we all do. You’ll need God’s support to tackle this life-changing work. Ask Him for that help. Jesus wants to help you with this.

Step 5: Take action.

It’s time to get in shape, professionally, personally, and spiritually.

You can do this. You can…

  • Bring balance and priority to your life.
  • Enhance relationships with consistent, complete, and trustworthy words.
  • Honor your body with good sleep, nutrition, and exercise.
  • Build impact with good stewardship.

You know what you have to do. You know the steps to take. And if you don’t, get a coach to help you.

You’ve been holding yourself back for years. It’s now time to stop.

Are you in?

Step 6: Appreciate the difference.

It takes one small step in resolving your boomerang challenge to feel a significant difference in your life.

You will feel more in control of your life than you can imagine is possible. You will feel more confident, aware, and present. You’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin.

You’ll feel more energy and enthusiasm to serve others. This is the natural outcome of dissolving the barriers between the “you” of today and the transformed servant leader God created you to be.

Step 7: Give thanks.

As you work through these steps to unravel and discard your boomerang challenge, be thankful. Express your gratitude to your loved ones, who helped you zero in on the one thing holding you back. Give thanks to God, who is supporting you and guiding your steps toward a more powerful life of service.

Because I’ll be honest with you –

When you shed this boomerang challenge, you will discover another one. And another one. And another. That’s simply the nature of growth as a servant leader. It is a never-ending journey.

Celebrating every victory, then, is all the more important.

What victory do you see in your future? What is the next right step will you take to overcome and resolve your boomerang challenges?

I’d love to hear about your journey — and provide support should you need it – as you meet your boomerang challenge head on.


Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of His making.

Proverbs 16:11