Faith in 1492
by Niki Turner
It's Columbus Day. (In case you forgot, like my hubby did, there will be no mail delivery today, and the bank is closed.) In the U.S., the second Monday in October is set aside to honor the accomplishment of explorer Christopher Columbus more than five centuries ago.
Was he really the first European to cross the Atlantic and set foot on the shores of the New World, or did the Vikings beat him to it? After all, Leif Ericson had no Twitter account to document his arrival in the Americas. Why was Columbus the explorer to earn the claim to fame? Perhaps because the Catholic church had a better system for promoting and recording the events of history than the Norsemen.
Love him or hate him, Columbus proved out something that we can learn from: One individual acting on genuine faith (a conviction of his/her beliefs) is indeed powerful enough to create a turning point in world history. The far-too-early death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs last week ought to serve as a reminder for us all that one person truly can change the world.
Like everyone who changes the world, Columbus was a rebel ... a rogue ... he bucked the system and proved some folks wrong. Call it "coloring outside the lines" or "writing in the margins" or "changing the status quo" or "breaking the sound barrier" – when we effect change by acting on our convictions we can expect the same kind of reactions: parades or protests.
Does that freak you out? Does it upset your proverbial apple cart? I'm sorry. Prepare to be upset. We like to say "God works in mysterious ways," we just don't like to acknowledge that those ways might be contrary to our traditions or outside of our comfort zones. We like it when "things" stay the same.
For the most part, we like to avoid change, but that's neither rational nor realistic. The world around us is changing at a faster rate than we've ever witnessed. Digging in our heels and dragging our feet and clinging to old ways and means and patterns and habits isn't going to slow the process. In my opinion, we, as children of the Most High God, creator of the heavens and the earth, ought to be right out there on the cutting edge of change and transformation, leading the scientific, the philosophical, the entertainment, the medical, and the technological realms with innovation and creativity and, above all, FAITH: the same kind of faith Columbus demonstrated in his willingness to set out on a journey that disproved popular opinions of his day.
Jesus did. He crossed more invisible boundaries than we ever dreamed of crossing. Talk about upsetting the apple cart. The disciples followed in His footsteps, until the people they encountered said this about them:
"These who have turned the world upside down have come here too."Can you imagine what would happen if hundreds, or thousands, or even millions of Christians rose up like Columbus and insisted that things are not as they appear, that the limitations and boundaries we are conditioned to accept are mere illusions?
Acts 17:6-7 NKJV
What would you be doing differently today with a Columbus kind of faith?
About the Author: Niki writes fiction, blog posts, articles in the local newspaper, grocery lists, and Facebook status updates. She can be found at her own blog, In Truer Ink, in addition to posting here and at The Pastor's Wife Speaks. She was a 2009 finalist in the Faith, Hope, and Love "Touched by Love" contest and is currently at work on being a grandma, finding her niche, and recovering from the effects of the heat of 13 years of ministry.