An Arkie's Faith column from the March 30, 2016 issue of The Mena Star.
Recently we made a trip to Ashland, Missouri to visit my sister. My nephew was the lead in his High School play and we were excited to be able to go see him perform. He played the part of Shrek in Shrek the Musical. He and his classmates had worked hard, practicing every school night for weeks. The production was very entertaining and my nephew was incredible as Shrek.
“Just because the Mississippi is the biggest river in the country, you mustn't get the idea that she's the best and the boats on her the finest and her boatmen the smartest. That ain't true. Son, real steamboatin' begins where the Missouri and the Mississippi join up. It takes a real man to be a Missouri River pilot, and that's why a good one draws down as high as a thousand dollars a month. If a Mississippi boat makes a good trip to New Orleans and back, its milk-fed crew think they've turned a trick. Bah! That's creek navigatin'. But from St. Louis to Fort Benton and back–close on to five thousand miles, son, with cottonwood snags waitin' to rip a hole in your bottom and the fastest current there ever was on any river darin' your engines at every bend and with Injuns hidin' in the bushes at the woodyard landings ready to rip the scalp off your head–that's a hair-on-your-chest, he-man trip for you!”
In Philippians 4:8 (NRSV), the Bible tells us, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” That seems to tell me that God wants us to focus on the positive. There is so much evil and error in the world that we could never hope to understand it no matter how long we studied it. Why would we want to take time away from Jesus to study such things?
Gentle Reader, we need to know where the deep water is. We need to travel in the deep water as we negotiate the river of life. Too many lives have been wrecked by the rocks and sandbanks of life as they have strayed from the deep water. Let's resolve to stay in the deep water of Jesus.