The Unknown

Christopher Columbus lived an adventurous, astounding, amazing life… but he probably didn’t realize it.  Oh, he wanted to attempt fantastic feats of exploration.  He desired to discover.  But at the end of his life, I’m not sure Columbus fully realized the significance of his life.

For example, Columbus’ life ended with him mostly a lonely and forgotten man.  Many discredited his efforts. And in the end, few wanted to be his friend.  Most people failed to recognize his significance during during his lifetime.  Yet he had inspired and emboldened countless new explorers.

At the end of his life, Columbus thought he had accomplished one amazing thing, when in reality he had accomplished something far different… far greater.  He died thinking he had found a way by sea to Asia.  But he had really discovered trade winds which led to an area of the world which was on the verge of discovery and development.  His trip inspired and informed others, making future explorations possible.

Columbus died not knowing what a significant impact he had made on this world… on those people who would sail in his wake.  He may not have been the first to sail westward… He may not have discovered America… He may not have have discovered a westward passage to India… He may not have found great riches… But he made an impact the likes of which few ever accomplish.

Or do they?

In Matthew 26, the account is recorded of a woman crashes a dinner party where Jesus is and pours expensive perfume… probably the most expensive and precious object she owned… on His head. Some people complained that it was a waste of money. Some people misunderstood her. Most did not realize her significance. But Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” 

I’m sure that woman Matthew wrote about didn’t realize what a big deal she was at the time… kind of like Columbus… kind of like you.

I’m guessing that, even as you read this, you truly do not comprehend the significance of your life.  You probably do not realize that you are impacting the lives of so many people in such a big way.  You most likely have no clue about what your real accomplishments are.

People may not recognize your contribution right now.  Sail on anyway!  You may not be as popular as someone else.  Be adventurous and make discoveries anyway.  You may not get everything right, but choose to live your life to the fullest for the Lord.  And there will come a day down the road… perhaps when you are old or have passed on… when people will tell the stories of your greatness and you will be remembered for all that you achieved.

And for those who have poured the perfume on the head of our Savior, there will be a day when we are rewarded as well as remembered.

You’re Joking… Right?

One of my favorite movies of all time is… Rocketman.  In it Harland Williams plays the bumbling and yet brilliant Fred Z. Randall who, through a series of ridiculous events, ends up on the first manned mission to Mars.

Once clear of earth’s orbit, Fred accidentally ends up on a world-wide broadcast of a video call between the President of the United States and the astronauts.  The President asks Fred what it’s like up in space, and Fred replies, “From up here, the earth looks like a giant blueberry.”  The call ends with Fred leading people across the world in the song, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.”

What Fred portrayed in that scene is a known fact for all of us alive today… the earth is round.

But when Columbus lived, many people did not believe that now well-known fact.  In fact, most people believed the world was flat… even though brilliant minds had been suggesting for hundreds of years that it was round.

Yet Columbus believed.  He had faith. Oh, I’m not suggesting he was a Christian or that he was as perfect as some of our history books would portray.  Truth be told, he was wrong about much of what he thought.

But he was right about believing the earth is round.  He believed.  He believed so strongly that, though it took him many attempts to gain the financial backing and actually find a crew who didn’t think they would fall off the edge of the earth if they sailed too far, he persisted.

That’s what faith does. Faith motivates us in the face of doubt. C. S. Lewis wrote, “When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who runs in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.”

Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”  And just five verses later, the writer of that letter tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith.

So ignore the naysayers today. Run the opposite direction when you know in your heart God has promised you that you are running the right way.  Just as Columbus was willing to put his faith in a round earth to the test, be willing to test that of which God has assured you. And one day we will be celebrating your accomplishments!

Oh, It’s Gonna Happen

It’s like our six-year old, Austin, cannot even see the possibility of a negative outcome when he is wanting and believing for something.  He sees a toy or a game that he absolutely has to have, and he begins to tell us about it. As he describes it in detail, he says things like, “When I get it, I’m going to…” Not “if I get it,” but “when I get it.”

In his mind, there is no possible way we would say “no” to his request.  And it’s not a greed thing (though he has his moments… as do I). He is so innocent and full of faith in our ability to provide what he wants and our willingness to bring him joy.

He entered a contest today in which he has the possibility of winning an iPad mini.  In his mind, he has already won. He just has to wait for the contest to come to a close and receive his prize. He doesn’t even consider that there is a chance he won’t win.  He doesn’t consider that other kids might also have a chance to win. The odds mean nothing to him… because he is going to win.

Oh, that I would view my Heavenly Father with such childlike faith!  Oh, to be able to completely exclude any possibility that God would not answer my request.  Oh, that I would never view failure as a possible outcome, only success.

And yet, isn’t that what Jesus instructed His disciples to do… to have faith like a child? What a radical concept that must have been for them. What a radical concept it often is for me.

God is a good Father… way better than me. Surely, I can count on Him to come through for me. There is no reasonable explanation for my doubting. I will win! I will receive! I will be filled with joy… because He laughs with me… and loves me… and lavishes blessings on me.

Of course He does. Why would I think otherwise?

For the record, He feels exactly the same way about you. So put on your faith like Austin & believe for the best to come your way today!

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