Where are Your Oars? (Revisited)

Originally posted July 9, 2018

oars river

We all travel the River of Life.

God controls the flow, the bends, the swirls and eddies, the calm and the rushing waters. He guides each boat with wisdom and love. Some boats must endure the whitewaters for a time: baggage may be lost overboard; passengers may look up, seeking faith; lives may be lost. Some boats float along in the still waters, enjoying the view, hanging out, or stuck, as it were, for a time before being carried away or steering away. God also provides assorted kinds of boats and oars, depending on the needs of its passenger.

We all bring into our boats varying kinds and amounts of packages. Some have disorganized baggage with odds and ends leaking out; some have neatly stacked and packed boxes.

Some who go through life with messy packages strewn about may never find their oars. They travel downstream uncontrolled, hanging onto their baggage tightly, or sometimes flinging it at others. They continue adrift, hanging onto the gunnels, crying out “Oh, this is happening to me!”

Others with messy boats begin the process of tidying up. They throw overboard those items that weigh them down; they organize their things as best they know how. They may eventually find their oars.

Those with neatly stacked boxes can come into their boats with knowledge of their oars and how to use them. Some of these will use that knowledge and steer their boats accordingly. Some, even with good teaching, will make a mess of their boats and misuse their oars.

What to do with those oars?

Some who find their oars never figure out how to use them. They whack other passersby with them, or splash about aimlessly. They may think oars are for holding out to others, and that others must provide for them.

God may open the eyes of some and bring wisdom and knowledge of the various uses of oars. J-strokes, back sweep, right draw, and using the oar as a rudder all provide methods of proper steering through the disparate waters. Oars may also be used to reach out to others in their boats, to draw alongside or hold onto.

We don’t travel alone down this River of Life. We bump into others, cross paths, join together, jostle, or commune with all those God sets in our ways. Sometimes we don’t get to go where we want to go. Sometimes we are brought into new and exciting channels. Sometimes we are called to come alongside others. We must remember to be gentle and kind, to use our oars to help, guide, and steer clear.

Give some thought to your oars, and what your path will be until you cascade into the great ocean of eternity.

17 thoughts on “Where are Your Oars? (Revisited)

  1. This reminds me of a small creek near where we used to live. It would overflow in the spring and flood the road. One year the county dug a large ditch to reroute the creek, but the next spring the creek filled the new ditch with sediment and resumed its old route. So much like us going to great lengths to not take the path God puts us on, but he blocks our efforts to stray and tries to put us back on track. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is good! Having been a counselor and taking hour long canoe trips with the kids to our camping sites for the night and having them not know how to use an oar for anything other than splashing water at others…I can totally appreciate this post!

    Also having capsized my own “boat” a time or two…yeah…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s awesome!

        The one week of the year I looked forward to. I had no training like you did. I was these boys and girls dad for a week. Once I got these teens to open up…oh my gosh…I just wanted to take them home with me so they wouldn’t have to go back to their parents.

        Liked by 1 person

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