Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sep | 12 | Seekong 'Mark Twain' and More


Ezekiel 47:5,6 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. He said to me, "Son of man, have you seen this?" Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river. NKJV

Seeking ‘Mark Twain’ and More

From our texts this evening, allow me to somewhat imitate the great Mr. Clemens tonight, in proving a point by maybe overly exaggerating a few metaphors. In any event, I do believe old sailors have the license to swing the lights, dust the salt off their shoulders and do so anyways!

Samuel Clemens chose his writing name from the phrase that Mississippi riverboat leadsmen would shout out when sounding the depths of the river beneath the Captains keel. “Mark one” meant the river bottom was just six feet below the keel. In 1883, Clemens writes as follows in an excerpt from ‘Life on the Mississippi’:

‘The cries of the leadsmen began to rise out of the distance, and were gruffly repeated by the word-passers on the hurricane deck.
'M-a-r-k three!.... M-a-r-k three!.... Quarter-less three! .... Half twain! .... Quarter twain! .... M-a-r-k twain! .... Quarter-less--

The cry of ‘Mark Twain’ is where Samuel Clemens got his world famous, writing pseudonym. ‘Mark Twain’ of course, to a river boat captain meant safe water, or two fathoms or for us land lubbers, that is, twelve feet, of safe sailing and sure steaming water.

A river pilot is someone who has expert and intimate knowledge of the course of water you are trying to navigate. God the Holy Spirit is our Pilot on this river of our lives. He has intimate knowledge of just the kind of water we are moving through, with its currents and eddies, its moving sandbars, fluctuating depths, seasonal changes and ever changing daily challenges, its dangerous sunken objects, ragged rocks and other unseen and lurking menaces, all hidden just below the surface.

You need to listen to this God the Holy Spirit Pilot speaking. You need to listen to Him navigating. Indeed, if we are attentive to His presence we shall be open to His practice and invited to learn, for as the Pilot navigates His way round the river, even with His vast and intimate knowledge of the water, He still makes use of sentinels of various kinds which come and stand on our own decks and swing ropes with leaden ends.

On our boat then, on our ship, we have four main and useful leadsmen, which it would do well for us to listen to that much more intently.

The First is on the bow end of ship and his name is ‘Conscience.’ Now, depending on how sober he is of course, he will be a fast talking, loud, shouting indicator of the depth of water we are sailing into. Listen to your Conscience for Conscience likes attention, “After all” he thinks, “I am at the very front of this vessel and really should be respected” and I tell you friends, if he doesn’t get it that respect of attention, then he tends to begin to drop his voice, little by little, even to a whisper, and has in extreme cases, been known to become sullenly silent. As you can imagine, not a few, inattentive Captains have run their vessel aground and even had them sink beneath them, whilst conscience has sat there with his arms folded and his lower lip stuck out. Listen Captain! Give conscience some attention, give him some acknowledgement, give him some respect.

The second is on our port bow. He is a little guy but has big lungs! Unfortunately, his stature amongst the other leadsmen means he isn’t often taken as seriously as he should be. Indeed, many a mature ship’s Captain has ignored this little guy called ‘Common Sense.’ However, when he is listened to, he is surprisingly accurate and exceptionally effective in giving you the true depth of the water beneath you. Make sure you fully utilize this powerful little guy called ‘Common Sense.’

The third is on the starboard side of ship and his name ‘Intelligence.’ This leadsman may have had to work hard to get where he is, but he knows a lot more than he is given credit for I can tell you! Captains, can sometimes be so stupid in that they forget, that on their right hand they have this remarkable guy called ‘Intelligence’ who with all his learning and experience, can really give them a good understanding of the running water passing beneath their feet. I am afraid, ‘Intelligence’ is too often under rated.

The Fourth and final leadsman, at the stern of the ship is called ‘Memory.’ He gets a little jittery sometimes, as all us Captains are well aware! Especially if he senses anything of past hurts and disasters and maybe he is not always as accurate as the other leadsman because of this, but as all Captains know, it’s good to have a jittery voice behind you, just so as you don’t get too cocky.

The Holy Spirit Pilot invites us on the morrow, to better listen to these leadsmen, and to make sure in all our sailing we hear the cry of safety, we hear the cry of security, we hear the cry of clearance and the cry of full steam ahead! “MARK TWAIN!”

Listen:- Then he said to me: "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. Ezekiel 47:8-10 NKJV

Pray:- Lord, You have said that out of our bellies shall flow rivers of living waters and further, that this flowing shall move to one great river of healing whose trees shall produce leaves which shall be used for the healing of the nations. As I sail this river of my life, this river of Your life, this river of our life, help me to heed The Pilot and learn from Him, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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