On the second Monday of October, we celebrate Columbus Day. Everyone can recite the ditty: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” But did you know that he actually made four separate trips to the new world and never stepped on North American soil?
In his quest for a westerly sea route to Asia, he navigated using “dead reckoning.” He knew his position in port and simply measured out his course and distance each day. He used a magnetic compass to set his direction and off he went.
As we think about his trips, we might anticipate that his journal was filled with challenging adventures. Instead, he often made the simple notation, “Today, we sailed on.” No mention of high seas or strong winds, no accounts of major storms or weird sea creatures. Just the acknowledgement that, “today, we sailed on.”
It struck me that the Christian life is a lot like Columbus’ voyages to the new world. Everyone might anticipate that our new life in Christ will be filled with exciting spiritual exploits and ventures. We mistakenly might think that with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, believers just move from one high and joyful experience to another.
Certainly there are those moments. We do have high and holy flashes of glory mixed into our “regular” lives. But reality suggests that the life of a believer is often filled with mundane tasks and routine responsibilities.
The life of a mature believer calls for perseverance, or as one author put it “a long obedience in the same direction.”
So this week, if the repetitive and somewhat dull details of your life are weighing you down consider these two passages of scripture. First, “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (Heb. 12:1-2)
And secondly, let’s remember to not “… become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9)
It is okay to make a note in your journal, “today, I just sailed on.”