Friday, December 12, 2014

Sail On

Chuckle:  I was walking on the beach with friends when one of them shouted, "Look at that dead bird!" Someone looked up at the sky and said, "Where?"
Quote:  “This day we sailed on. Course WSW.” –Christopher Columbus
    “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”  (James 1:2-4 NIV).
Most of us are somewhat aware of that famous voyage, in 1492, of three small ships – the, Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria.  But I dare say that few of us have an appreciation for the challenges which faced Christopher Columbus and his three crews on that historic first voyage across the Atlantic.  According to Wikipedia, this voyage led to the first lasting European contact with the Americas, inaugurating a period of European exploration, conquest, and colonization that lasted for several centuries.  Listen to this brief account:
    This (our quote) was the entry which, day after day, Columbus put down in the private log of his first voyage across the uncharted North Atlantic. He must have written it in a spirit alternating between blind hope and quiet despair. Conditions were about as adverse as possible. Storms had damaged the little caravel; the Pinta had lost her rudder; the crews of all three vessels were threatening mutiny; and probably Columbus’ own confidence in what seemed an insane enterprise was wavering. But he had set his course in the direction which his own intuition and logical intelligence let him to believe was the right one, and with dogged courage he kept going (he persevered).  --Cornelia Otis Skinner  (parentheses mine)
I see a correlation between this story and the real-life Challenges facing a Christian who has set his course a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, but finds himself beset by trials and obstacles of many kinds.  If he or she is not totally committed to Christ and the course they have set, they will find many reasons to turn back and abandon their journey.   I’m sure Columbus had anticipated difficulties on his dangerous voyage; however, his strong  commitment and conviction kept him from throwing in the towel and turning back.
Do you sometimes get discouraged in your walk with our Lord?  Do the challenges and burdens of life become just too great?  Here are two additional passages.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”  (John 16:33b NIV).  “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12 NIV).
These verses stress the certainty that troubles will come – it’s “when,” not “if.”  When we face the inevitable pain, a positive outlook will help us be joyful as we focus on the good that troubles can produce in our lives.  No one enjoys trials, but those who endure them with strong faith will reap the benefits of perseverance, proven Character, and hope.  Some one said, “A brook would lose its song if God removed the rocks.”  Sail on. . . .

Love, Jerry & Dotse


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