In the pantheon of Christian greats, one will find Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, but it’s doubtful that any bust of Christopher Columbus will adorn the hall.
Yet a quick read of Columbus’s journals reveals a highly devout man who genuinely wanted to reach the lost on the far side of the world with the message of Christ. The history books continue to sully the explorer’s name or finagle his importance, but after reading the words from his own hand, I have a much higher view of the man.
What truly grips me about long-dead Christian men like Columbus is that something in them burned. They had a vision, a dream that held them. They saw Christ high and lifted up and that revelation enthralled them, captivating their vision and capturing their hearts.
When we read biographies of great people of long ago, more often than not they had an encounter with Jesus that changed their direction and gave them new direction. In many cases, that pursuit was science. Scratch a well-known scientist from long ago and catch the aroma of Christ. These men aspired to something beyond the boundaries of what was known and explored because they knew Jesus.
God, how we need Christian men who aspire to something more than owning the latest muscle car or climbing to the top of the corporate ladder. Where are the Christian men out there who dream big dreams and won’t take no for an answer?
And I’m not just talking about ministry. That’s the ghetto we’ve fallen into. No one considers Columbus an evangelist. Dreamers minister to us today because they stand for the godly desire never to settle, never to make do. These men possessed a keen eye for what lies beyond, a godly desire to know, no matter what that aspiration might be.
So how is it that so few of us reach beyond our grasp? How can it be that Christians today are content to make do with okay? At what point did we make peace with the world of Harrison Bergeron?
There’s more than a whiff of sulfurous stench around “Well, this looks like a nice place to relax,” isn’t there?
To what purpose did God redeem us? Better yet, to what purpose did He make Man at all if not that we should do great things and honor Him in their doing?
I get sick of all the small vision. I’m fed up with can’t. I wish there were some way to rid can’t, but, won’t, and never from the Christian lexicon. We’ll do anything possible to protect our kids from filth, but who out there is protecting our kids from having their every aspiration hammered to pieces by naysayers, most of those hammerers from within the four walls of your church and mine? Who out there is punishing the millstoners, who see an aspiration and rush in to weigh it down with a slab of granite?
Dear God, send us men and women who take your upward call seriously. who stop their ears against the siren call of mediocrity! Raise up an army of people who look in faith only to you and not to the left or two the right, people with vision inspired by your Holy Spirit. Unleash them, Lord Jesus. We need them more than ever in these difficult times. Amen.