by Jacqueline Snow
“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue!” Every 2nd Monday in October, we recall Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas. We might visualize a large, weary ship with worn sails slowly inching its way toward a sandy beach. We might imagine the expressions on sun-parched faces of exhausted shipmates, gazing with astonishment at dry land. We might wonder how they survived such a voyage in those days … sailing endlessly with limited, primitive resources, plunging through dangerous episodes of ocean storms, rising above deep internal turmoil at times when there were no signs of land or life. Surely, navigating such unknowns could only have been fueled by passion, resolve and purpose in the hearts and minds of the crew.
Italian explorer Christopher Columbus’ writings indicate that he was a Christian man of faith with a scientific mind. It appears he believed his voyages were tied to biblical prophecy. As he encountered natives in different lands, he documented culture, human characteristics and belief systems. Often, Columbus described his attempts to plant seeds of Christian theology among the inhabitants of the “New World.” Surely, Columbus believed that evangelizing for the faith was part of his adventurous destiny.
And here we are today, 527 years later, sipping on our pumpkin-spiced lattes, knowing so much about the massive world we live in. Amazingly, the life of an explorer like Columbus can still inspire us. Our lives are like oceans and lands we navigate endlessly. We use what we know and have to survive; we discover and adjust constantly. There’s no certainty of where we’ll set foot today or tomorrow, or what storms of life are next. And yet, with faith as our compass, we thrive joyfully in the journey. We have the blessed assurance of eventually arriving at our eternal destination … our “New World” … Heaven’s shores.