The Man from Snowy River
What does "The Man from Snowy River" have to do with Jesus’ claim about Truth?
"The Man from Snowy River" is Australia’s most famous poem. All Aussies can at least recite the first sentence—if not the whole opening.
It's the way we want be to seen:
Perhaps, it is less about the poetry than it is about the way the regular stockmen are. Of how urbanized Australians would like to see themselves: showing that grit and determination and the skill of "The Man from Snowy River" wins. His willingness to have-a-go against all odds.
THERE was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from Old Regret had got away
And had joined the wild bush horses—he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.
Whether it’s the truth about us or not, we hope people will see us the way we want to be seen.
Is this Imagery or Reality? Or Both.
That means that often we adjust the truth to create an image. That’s what poets do. The image is bigger than life itself: beast against man.
The poem deals with both fiction and truth. The battle-scared stockman is there; he is not denied. We want to believe he can do it, and, By George, he does. Even if it's unbelievable? It's an image of the truth we seek. Truth!
So, what is truth?
Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
Dick Innes writes that perhaps, truth is the most powerful principle in the world. Pilate flung it in Jesus face. "What is truth?" he asked. Without access to the truth there is no freedom, no recovery, no intimacy in relationships, often no healing, and no eternal life.
If we create another image in the place of truth, we are in fact, denying ourselves. But we love a vision: an ideal—an impossibility.
On the other hand, denial is perhaps the most destructive sin we can commit. For instance, to the degree that I have not found freedom in any area of my life, I am still in denial. There is some truth I am avoiding.
Furthermore, to be dishonest with myself is just as deceptive and sinful as being dishonest with anyone else.
Whatever the cost:
M. Scott Peck said, "Emotional sickness is avoiding reality [truth] at any cost. Emotional health is facing reality at any cost."
That's just a reframing or rephrasing of what Jesus said: "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." The following prayer by Billy Joe Vaughn sums it up very well:
"God grant me the ability
to reject the things about me
that are not true,
the humility to accept
the things that are,
and the discernment
to know the difference."
A prayer for healing goes like this: Dear God, help me to know the real Truth about myself and You, and please deliver me from the sin of denial and help me always to be genuine, honest, authentic and real. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's Name."
Banjo Paterson's poem also captures a barracking for the underdog which is an enduring part of the Aussie make up.
Capture the spirit:
A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson (1864–1941) spent much of his early years in the country district of Yass, New South Wales. From there he witnessed the skills of the horsemen of the high country of Kosciuszko and was able to capture their spirit in this epic story—and to model it as an example for us all.
The man from Snowy quest is about achieving over the most challenging kind of odds.
The British singer Susan Boyle in 2010, revealed that she could have been aborted had her mother followed the doctors’ advice.
Writing in her autobiography, Boyle said doctors told Mrs. Boyle, (then a 45-yearold mother of eight), that having another baby could kill her. But as she was a devout Roman Catholic, an abortion was unthinkable and she went through with the pregnancy and delivery.
Boyle said that when she was born, doctors mentioned to her father she would ‘never-come-to-anything’ ..... and she has been ... ‘trying all my life to prove them wrong.’
She avoided denial, faced the truth, and before millions of TV viewers, prevailed. The truth won.
The Man from Snowy River does this also.
That's the spirit of achievement over insurmountable obstacles.
And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise
Their torn and rugged battlements on high,
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
And where around the Overflow the reed-beds sweep and
To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide,
The Man from Snowy River is a household word today,
And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.
That’s victory over the seeming impossible.
There's many who did that. They are called successful failures. They were not grounded by difficulties, or even failure. Unconquerable wars our men were sent to win, we're unforgivable. But someone forgot to tell the troops—they dug in year in and year out—and won. 1918 and 1945.
The truth set them free, and millions of others with them.
Not everyone who's on top got there with success after success. More often than not, those who history best remembers were faced with numerous obstacles that forced them to work harder, recover from failure, and show more determination than others.
Many of them were declared failures, even bankrupts before they achieved. The road to achievement is mostly lined with the scars of failures, who made good.
This can be said for education as well as vocations and enterprise. Adding qualifications to your experience with a bachelor’s or master’s degree can also help do wonders for your success.
Next time you're feeling down about your failures in college or in a career, keep these famous people in mind and remind yourself that sometimes failure is just the first rung on the ladder up, the next step towards success.
Heres’s a handfull of them: Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Socrates, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Abraham Lincoln, Jerry Seinfeld, Winston Churchill, Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven.
So Clancy rode to wheel them—he was racing on the wing,
Where the best and boldest riders take their place,
And he raced his stock-horse past them and he made the
With the stock-whip, as he met them face to face.
Harland David Sanders? Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first.
In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it. What was not known was his Christian determination. But it was there, and that got him through. The truth set him free.
Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
And Jesus’ most complete claim was, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).
A certain Bush Padre remembers a dark-skinned teenager in the outback school at Wilcannia, who expected that he alone control the students. Not us; he would not relinquish his control. He was boldly arrogant, but beneath it all, he was searching for the real man; for truth. He’d been in a fantasy world.
He challenged their music; resented the Gospel; hated surrendering control, till others turned to the evangelist to hear the Gospel. When he listened to reason with logic, evidence and love, he listened more closely to the explanations ‘why we behave the way we do, and the yearning in each for better’.
Logic and Love:
Then again, he exploded in frustration, creating havoc. He’d interrupted saying Lord’s Prayer earlier, but at the end, eventually, the Spirit of God moved upon his heart and he bowed in reverence to repeat it a better way.
In almost a subconscious manner, oblivious of others around him, he gazed through the window, focusing upon the offer of Jesus’ salvation, and Truth, and repeated the words several times, ‘forgive us our sins’ ... ‘forgive us our sins’ ... ‘forgive us our sins’... in repentance. His followers did the same. He prayed and bowed and wept.
Sensitive adults aided him in renewal and forgiveness, and he slowly appeared as a new person. Often, the spirit of God moves in unusual ways to deal with an unusual situation.
In the year that followed he never changed.
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).
The Truth—is stir-less,
Other force—may be presumed to move,
This—then—is best for confidence,
When oldest Cedars swerve—And Oaks untwist their fists,
How excellent a Body, that
Stands without a Bone—How vigorous a Force
That holds without a Prop,
Truth stays Herself—and every man
That trusts Her—boldly up.
– Emily Dickinson
Deepen your faith in the Christ. Nothing will be able To frighten or weaken. He is the only One to Trust. Sir Edmund Hilary was the first known person to conquer Mt. Everest. The first time he tried, he failed. Later, he was knighted by the Queen of England, and at the gala occasion, on the wall behind the head table, was a huge picture of Mt. Everest. The people gave him a standing ovation for even daring to attempt the climb. When they ceased applauding, Hilary turned his back to the audience (and the Queen), faced that picture and said, "Mt. Everest, you had defeated me once, you defeated me again. But I told you I'm coming back again and again, and I'm going to win because you can't get any bigger, Mt. Everest, and I can.
Knowing and responding to the truth will lead you to grand achievements, too.
Jesus’ most complete claim was, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).
He backed those words with His offer of Salvation when He took our suffering for sin upon Himself, He died and ... three days later ... He arose!
That’s the truth.