On August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain in search of a westward route to the Indies. The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria first stopped at the Canary Islands, where the lack of winds left them becalmed until they could embark again early in September. The journey took much longer than expected. It is believed that Columbus’ ships averaged four knots an hour (roughly 5 mph). It was not until October 11 that land was first sighted and a New World was revealed.
Day after day passed with nothing in sight but the blue sky above and the blue waves below, with the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Repeatedly, Columbus wrote in his log: “TODAY WE SAILED ON.” Day after day of monotonous existence passed – but each one was bringing them closer to their ultimate achievement.
Life certainly has it’s long, monotonous patches – and so does ministry to the Lord. Yet each day of faithful obedience brings us closer to our goals in this life and a good standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Daily, we must maintain good works: “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful” Titus 3:14. Weekly, we must take care of our responsibilities. If we do not see the victory immediately, we must sail on. If storms come, we must sail on. If rough waters come, we must sail on. If calm seas seem to have left us crawling along, then we must keep our bow pointed westward and sail on. It is through relentless persistence that we reach our goals. As my pastor, Dr. Bob W. Smith says, “Failure cannot cope with persistence!” Sail on!
Incidentally, Columbus’ men were so fearful of what lay ahead that they demanded to return to Spain. Columbus promised them that if they did not find land in two more days, they would return. The very next day, land was sighted. And many a preacher, teacher, church leader, businessman, student, or spouse has turned back two days before they would have reached their objective. Don’t turn back. Keep going forward. Sail on!
(For those who have asked, I designed the image in the header and you are welcome to use it non-commercially for your own encouragement. Click on the image to open it to its full size [3229x2479], save it and use it for a wallpaper if you wish.)