Cortez and his men sailed from Spain and landed on the coast of Mexico in 1519. Initially the crew was awed by the beautiful land, but after months of hard work and little to show for it, their excitement turned to restlessness and revolt.
They wanted to abandon this New World and return home to their old one. Murmurings of mutiny were on everyone’s lips. Captain Cortez knew from the high level of discontent that the men would soon break ranks and leave. They would only work to tame the New World if it was their only hope of survival.
So he set fire to the ships. Horror must have been in the hearts of even the most hardened sailor to see any hope of going home dying in the flames. But that is what it took to make them succeed in the New World—total commitment.
The captain’s actions remind me of the often-told story of the farm animals who wanted to prepare a nice "ham and eggs" breakfast for the farmer. The chicken gladly contributed her eggs, but the pig was very hesitant. The chicken asked him what was the trouble. He replied, “You are only making a contribution to this breakfast. For me, it means total commitment."
Cortez knew the only way for his men to survive in the New World was to commit themselves to the task before them. Today, why don’t you commit yourself to God and let Him help you. He will—if you just let Him.
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