“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue… and… and…”. Oh, let’s face it… I either never really learned that little rhyme, or I’ve slept since then and forgotten it.

All I remembered about Christopher Columbus (until last week) was that he is credited with discovering North America… although he wasn’t really the first person to do so… and it really wasn’t what he was trying to accomplish.  But I learned more than ever before about this intriguing man’s life as we taught our boys about him last week.

We homeschool our boys currently.  Let me be more accurate… PR31 home educates our boys, and I pitch in to help in minutely small ways on occasion.  And she does a fabulous job teaching them.  (I wish I had had teachers that pretty and helpful.)  So it should be no surprise that I learned some new revelations about Christopher Columbus last week as she taught us… uh, I mean them.

One of the craziest facts I learned was that his crew almost mutinied on him, determined to turn back from their quest.   They had been at sea… with no land at all in sight… for two months.  This bunch of sailors had had enough.  It was tough enough to believe Columbus to begin with. But then to go this far and find nothing?  They thought Columbus had lost either his mind or his way.  Neither option was great. Afraid for their lives and tired of believing in something that did not seem to be real, they wanted to turn back.

Columbus worked his persuasive magic on them and convinced them to give him three more days.  Then, if they had not found land, he agreed to turn back with them.

It’s almost as if Columbus knew exactly what he was doing because on the evening of the second day, land was sighted!  And the rest is history.

But think about this… Those men had traveled two months to do something others could Barry even imagine, and yet they were prepared to give up… to turn back… to quit… when they were only two days away from achieving one of the greatest accomplishments of their time.

They had completed 97% of the journey when they were ready to give up.  They had done the hard part… the two months.  All they had to do was a little more… two days.  But because they couldn’t see their goal even through a spyglass  yet, their hearts were weary.

Perhaps today you are weary.  You’ve been trying to do the right thing… eat right and exercise… finish college… complete a project at work… remain pure in your relationships as you look for the love of a lifetime…find God’s will and plan for your life.  And you’re tired.  Tired of trying. Tired of not seeing the end result… the goal of your quest.

The Apostle Paul wrote to some people who felt like giving up and told them what Columbus told his crew and what I’m telling you today… Don’t give up!  You’re almost there.  The hardest part is behind you. Just a little more.  Stay on the journey, and you will soon find that you will be glad you did because your continued persistence… and commitment… and faithfulness  is going to pay off.  You’ll look back and say that you are sure glad you didn’t give up when you had 97% behind you and only 3% to go.

Don’t mutiny. Don’t turn back. Hoist the sails a few more times. Keep the spyglass to your eye.  I have a sense that land is not as far away as you might think!


Author: Allen Chapin

- Christian, husband, dad, friend, leader, author and speaker - Life Purpose = Love & Encourage, Offering Grace & Hope - Life Motto = Living for the applause of nail-scarred hands - Life Verse = Matthew 25:21

2 thoughts on “97%”

    1. Not dumb at all… PR31 is my nickname for my wife, Angela. In my opinion, she totally resembles the woman described in Proverbs 31… thus, “PR” for Proverbs & “31” for the 31st chapter. My way of trying let people know how she really is to me. Thanks for the question!


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