The Oars

2 11 2012

“Prayer and praise are the oars by which a man may row his boat into the deep waters of the knowledge of Christ.” – Charles Spurgeon

Water sports were a given growing up in a land of 10,000 lakes. During the summer months, all kinds of people could be found enjoying the open waters, warm weather, and blue skies. Canoeing was one of my favorites. My initiation into canoeing came at camp. It takes a little bit of coordination and practice to learn how to maneuver through the water with a small boat and a pair of oars, but the benefits of being able to travel across the lake or down the river made it worth the effort.

Picture the middle of the lake on a beautiful day. Out in the center is a canoe with two teenagers, laughing and playing in the boat. Suddenly, one of the teenagers tries to stand up. Big mistake in a canoe. The next thing you see is a splash, a flipped canoe, and two wet heads trying to right the overturned boat. They finally manage to crawl back in the boat (after four tries), and look for the shore. A breeze sends a chill through their wet clothes, helping them make up their minds that it is time to head back in. It is only in the moment when they determine it is time to go that they see the problem. The oars are not in the boat. They are floating away on the gentle ripples of the water. They are stuck out in the middle of the lake, helpless against the tides.

Oars are essential equipment. They allow movement. They propel us forward, help us steer, and keep us going in the right direction. Oars can allow us to swing around obstacles, hold us steady when the current gets rough, and provide stability when the water is choppy. If we want to go, we need to hang onto the oars and use them on our journey.

My Jesus Resolution today is to paddle. I want prayer and praise to be oars that I hang onto with both hands. I want to dip them deeply into the waters of His grace and let them move me closer to His heart. Paddling with just one oar often means rowing in circles. I need both oars, so God can propel me deeper into His presence and His plan for my heart.


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