The ‘Missouri Boat Ride’ Of Life

missouri boat ride

TheDiscipleMD

“Well Mr. Carpetbagger…we got something in this territory, called the Missouri boat ride.”

Perhaps you might recall the above line from the movie “The Outlaw Josey Wales”, directed by Clint Eastwood, starring the same, which was released in 1976. It was a line said by Eastwood’s character, Josey Wales. It was spoken in response to a salesmen who said there was something called “justice”, upon seeing that the outlaw Wales was going to be overcome by his pursuers. But Wales stopped his enemies, who were boat crossing a swift river, by shooting the rope in two, which was anchored on both sides of the river. The rope was the stabilizing force in keeping the hand pulled boat from drifting aimlessly down stream. The urban dictionary defines a “Missouri Boat Ride” to be “dead, floating down a river”. Once Wales shot the rope, the boat with his pursuers, was carried away in the swift current downstream amid confusion and panic.

We talk so much in the church about the “iron rod”, as seen in vision by the prophet Lehi. It’s symbolism of strength stands in stark contrast to that of a rope, or some other material that could have been used by the Lord to describe how the “word of God” (1 Nephi 11:25) serves as an anchor in our lives. There are plenty of “swift rivers” that we have to cross in this life. Sometimes it seems that as soon as we cross one, there lies another ahead! The crossing of these rivers requires faith, determination, and endurance. Oft times it requires help from a higher source. Many, who don’t understand the importance of the Lord in their lives, try to cross swift waters with no more than a “rope”, or the words of man, to stabilize them and occasionally that is enough. But more times than not, the rope can easily be shot in two and their voyage becomes one of aimless floating toward an endless watery grave. An eternal “Missouri Boat Ride” for the soul!

We, as members of the restored church of Christ, have something more secure than just a “rope” to cross the challenges of life. We  have an “iron rod” that is strong and unbending which cannot be “shot” out from under us. It is steadfast and true and, as the scriptures tell us, “…they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree”. (1 Nephi 8:30). It is a great blessing to have the gospel to hold onto which secures us in our time of need. I am grateful to the Lord that he has provided us with the steadfast nature of His words as found in the scriptures as well as spoken, in our days, by living apostles and prophets.

Let us hold to the iron rod,  and not buy a ticket for a cheap ride on the “Missouri Boat Ride” of life. It’s ride is filled with peril  and has no ability to steer itself of danger ahead.  And while the “Missouri Boat Ride” of life is aimless, sadly for its occupents, its final destination is always the same….the falls!

 

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