Today in Washington D.C. there is no Columbus Day. The D.C. Council voted to replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It’s a temporary move they hope to make permanent.
This trend is gaining popularity in many states. Of course, Columbus Day is about as popular today in the media as the NFL Washington Redskins. Yet, tearing down and denying our history does not change history.
Columbus, the great explorer, represents qualities of determination. Steadfastness. Endurance. Persistence. Patience. And single-mindedness. In a word, he was “resolute.”
While we tend to think of Columbus’ voyage and his achievement as something glamorous and glorious, much of his journey could be described as mundane. Monotonous. Tedious. Historians that have read his log say there were many days in which Columbus simply wrote, “Today we sailed on.”
The Christian life is like the voyage of Columbus. We often sail a rough and treacherous sea in life. It is fraught with many fears and dangers. There are those who doubt, others who discourage us, and some that will seek to discredit our faith. And there are times the days seem ordinary. Common. Dreary. But like Columbus, we must sail on!
The Bible commands Christians to “Continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Col 1:23).
The Hebrew writer employing a sailing metaphor reminds us that we have “an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast” (Heb. 6:19)
And in the inspired words of Paul, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor 15:58)
To “sail on” spiritually speaking requires three important qualities for the resolute Christian whose faith is firmly fixed on its goal.
(1) Conviction. Just like Columbus was convinced in his conviction about the unknown world, our faith in God, His Son, and the Word of God must be strong. The apostle Paul said, “I know in whom I have believed!” That’s conviction! To be resolute is to be faithful, true, and loyal to our convictions.
(2) Courage. Columbus was obviously a brave man to set sail for the unknown world. Who knew what dangers lurked? What problems would befall them? Or what obstacles would complicate their journey?
Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?! Especially the Christian life. It takes courage to be faithful to our convictions. The Christian is emboldened because of his faith in God. The Psalmist said, “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! (Ps 27:14)
To be resolute is to be staunch, steady, and strong as we courageously sail on.
(3) Commitment. Columbus was committed to his cause. He was invested mentally and emotionally in his mission and persuaded others to invest financially.
The Christian life is one of total commitment. We must be completely invested in God’s promise. In the success of our journey. And the hope of a new world that awaits us.
The Devil will try to detour us. But the apostle Peter exhorted us to “resist him, (and be) firm in the faith” (I Pet 5:9) When we are resolute in our resolve we are unfaltering, unshakable and unwavering in our commitment.
In the words of the hymnist Edward Hooper.
Jesus, Saviour, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee.
Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman