Mark Twain Riverboat: 6 Keys to Checking Your Spiritual Depth Level
The Mark Twain Riverboat is another Opening Day attraction. A look at early concept drawing of Disneyland shows that Walt always wanted something like this in his park. There is quite a bit of history associated with this ship, and for that, I encourage you to check out its entry in the Disneyland Encyclopedia.
A trip on the Mark Twain is a leisurely 12- to 15-minute cruise around the Rivers of America. Along the way, the narrator points out interesting sights along both coasts. Much of the narration that relates to the operation of the ship itself is a pretty good historical representation.
Part of that narration is the leadsman sounding of the depth markers. On Mississippi riverboats in the mid-1800’s the leadsman’s job was to monitor the depth of the water to keep the ship from running aground. He had to regularly check it and call out the depth (“Mark 3”, “Half Twain”, “Mark Twain”, etc.) “Mark Twain” is the depth they wanted to hear, because that meant the water was two (or “twain”) fathoms deep, safe for riverboats.
If the leadsman didn’t do his job—or if the captain didn’t listen to him—the ship would run aground. He had to keep an eye out to make sure they stayed in the proper depth. Otherwise, the whole ship was in trouble.
We need to do the same thing in our spiritual journeys. Do regular check-ups of our spiritual health to make sure we’re not drifting into unsafe waters. Remember, David said in the Psalms,
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
”See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
He’s asking God to check the depth markings in his life.
The great preacher Charles Spurgeon offered six “depth markers” (though he didn’t call them that) we can use to check our spiritual health.
- Conviction of sin;
- Simple faith in Christ;
- Unfeigned repentance from sin;
- Real change of life;
- True prayer;
- A willingness to obey the Lord’s commandments.
How would you say you’re doing in each area? You don’t have to be perfect in any or all of them. That’s not the point. The question is, are you growing? Are you making progress? Is your “depth” in each area more than it was last month, last year, or 5 years ago? The deeper each one is, the safer spiritual water you’re in.
Now, if the Mark Twain’s crew discovers they’re venturing into shallow waters, what would they do? Take some bearings, figure out where they are and where the deeper water is, and head for it. You can do the same. If one or more of these six depth markers are too shallow, stop. Figure out where you are (and get a trusted friend, pastor, or coach to help you if you need it) and what you need to change to get into the deeper water, then intentionally move that direction.
Question: How is your depth in each of these six areas? What is the one area you need to focus on the most, and what is one thing you can do (or stop doing) in that area? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.