“How did we get here?” It’s a question many of us ask ourselves at some point in our lives, and one that’s posed by For King and Country in their song “Burn the Ships.” Though the title simply contains a metaphorical image of “ship burning,” a popular act by those wanting to let go of a relic from the past, the depths of the lyrics delve far deeper than historical tradition.
The phrase burn the ships originally rose from an event in history most of you have probably heard. In the 1500s, Hernan Cortes led an army to Mexico in hopes of conquering the Aztecs. He commanded the men to burn their own ships so that retreat wouldn’t be an option. Historians now believe the men ended up sinking the ships, but the lesson remains the same.
The men had no plan B, so failure wasn’t an option.
What are we holding onto that’s keeping us from moving forward? There are countless props we use to quell the pain–to dampen the fear. Ironically, whatever we use to self-medicate, whether its a bag of potato chips or handful of pills, ultimately magnifies the hurt and spreads to those around us.
We can only move forward when we let go of what’s dragging us down.
Easier said than done, I know. Although many don’t believe in the power of prayer, God can truly give us the strength we need to let go and let God be our crutch.
After all, like a crutch, if we’re leaning on Him, we can’t be leaning on anything else, right?
So, if there’s something you’re holding onto, anything that’s keeping you from moving forward, I’d encourage you to take the lyrics to heart..
“Light a match, leave the past, burn the ships….and don’t you look back.”