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Holding It All Together-Burn The Ships

By Amy McCollom
Can you imagine what it must have been like?  The Pilgrims and other passengers on the Mayflower boarded that ship, leaving behind everything that had been comfortable. They left the familiarity of daily life, their homes and neighborhoods, their friends and family.

Why did they do that?  Because their life was not going to remain comfortable.  They knew things were changing in their homes and neighborhood, and for lack of better words, they wanted to “get while the getting was good.”

Most passengers aboard the Mayflower felt forced by circumstances to go to the new lands.  They were fighting from the corner that they had been pushed into, and they were not giving up.  With every bit of strength and stamina in them, they were going to stay loyal and fight for their religious beliefs, no matter what.  How admirable!

Long and arduous was the two-month voyage, and not everyone survived the journey.  Still, the Pilgrims did not give up or turn back. They believed their God would help them through.  Landing on Plymouth Rock in November was not the best situation, and many more passengers died, trying to survive a brutal winter.  Still, no one turned back. They had a hope of a better life, a better way, the birth of something new and wonderful. They envisioned it and placed their faith in God.

Because they were a gentle people, Chief Massosoit of the Wampanoags tribe signed a treaty with the Pilgrims and then supplied them with food and other resources for their help with an ongoing war between the Wampanoags and another rival tribe.  They also helped the Pilgrims learn a lot of ways to survive better in the harsh northeast. God heard their prayers and sent help.

Other legends tell of explorers, such as Hernan Cortez who landed in Mexico, and in order to give his men no option but to go forward conquer, ordered his captains to burn the ships.

How often have we wanted to go back to a past that wasn’t there anymore?  How many times have we thought about turning around and walking away? How often have we felt weak from the journey of our lives, ready to give up?  How many times have we clung to the past because the future was new and intimidating? God is saying, “Burn the ships, and trust in me.”

I think of my friends who have lost parents, spouses, children, friends, and even pets.  Holes left in hearts, empty chairs, and empty laps. It can be a very lonely feeling when someone you loved is no longer available to love you back.  New schools, new towns, newly married, new parents, new job; a new land to explore and conquer. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.  Anything worth something has a price. Burn the ships, and go forth and conquer.

The lyrics of the new song called Burn The Ships by the talented Christian group, For King And Country, so perfectly fit the many lives of people surrounding us.  I encourage you to listen to this song.

Burn The Ships

How did we get here?

All castaway on a lonely shore

I can see in your eyes, dear

It’s hard to take for a moment more

We’ve got to

Burn the ships, cut the ties

Send a flare into the night

Say a prayer, turn the tide

Dry your tears and wave goodbye

Step into a new day

We can rise up from the dust and walk away

We can dance upon our heartache, yeah

So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships

And don’t you look back

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