Worth Thinking About...

Ol' Man River

On a recent fine spring day, my daughter, Jessica, and I ate our lunch on the banks of the Ohio River. We enjoyed the gentle breeze, sunshine, fast food and the overweight groundhog who was also having lunch on the river bank. One tends to get reflective at moments like that. One thought crosses the quiet mind: the river has been flowing a long time before I came along and will be flowing after I am gone. Even though written about a different river, the song Ol' Man River from the 1927 musical Showboat, offers a perspective on life. Perhaps in your mind you can add the melody and hear Paul Robeson sing, "I get weary and sick of try'n I am tired of living and scared of dying but ol man river he just keeps rolling along." Life is short isn't it? James said it this way, "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14). The conclusion: life is short!

Another stray thought crossed my mind: the river is so much more than meets the eye. The stretch of the Ohio one can see from any given point is only a fraction of its 981mile length. One can also barely comprehend that the Ohio river drains 204,000 square miles. Additionally, with a river much is below the surface. This is also true of life. What is really important is below the surface. It is on this level that God sees perfectly. The Bible says, "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" ( Hebrews 4:13). There are many who outwardly appear religious and seem as peaceful as Ol' Man River. But underneath there is anything but peace. What does God see when He looks upon your heart? A person who has committed his life to God and trusted in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation or something else?

There are 19 high-lift locks on the Ohio river. These insure the continued flow of traffic on the river. How absurd it would be for a boat to attempt another route up or down the river when the Army Corp of Engineers maintain these passageways.. Our God has prepared a way for us to reach Him and if we seek our own route we are the "a thief and a robber." (John 10:1). Instead we need to know that Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6).

So, if you are concerned about the shortness of life, or the view from the inside out, or the way to heaven, the solution is simple: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! If you need help with that decision, please let me know.

Jesse Waggoner
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church

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