Daily Devotion for January 13, 2021

The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you.  I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing,    (Genesis 12:1-2)
            One of my favorite quotes goes like this, “The safest place for ships is in the harbor, but that’s not why ships were built.”  This quote reminds me that it is okay to venture forth and try things, even when I am moving into what feels like unchartered territory.
            When Christopher Columbus set sail from Europe to discover a new route to the East (by going West), he was venturing forth in unchartered waters and unchartered thought.  The world view of his day said that the earth was flat, and that you could sail off the end of the earth.
            When his ships set sail, they had barely left port before his crew voiced fears of meeting dragons or sailing off the end of the earth.  Soon, his first mate came to him and said, “The men are sick!  Tell us to turn back.”  Columbus said, “Sail on!”  A few days later the first mate said, “The men have scurvy and little fresh water and food.  Tell us to turn back.”  Columbus again said, “Sail on!”  A few days later, the first mate came again to him and said, “The sails are almost gone, we’ve not seen land.  The men are about to mutiny.  Tell us to turn back.”  Columbus said, “Sail on!” 
            It was the very next day, Columbus and his crew found the West Indies.
            Without any sighting of land or new provisions, he sailed on.  It is clear that within a short time, his crew and his key leaders began to feel a sense of doubt about the direction they were going, he chose to sail on.  Who knows what doubts he had about what he was doing; he chose to sail on. 
            It is never easy to do something new.  Whenever I find that I am in a new situation, I am encouraged by remembering Columbus and his story.  It reminds me to hang in there.  It reminds me to not quit. 
            One of the biggest obstacles we face in doing something new is to listen to the critics who say, “It can’t be done.”  Or “We won’t make it.” Or “We’ve tried that before and it won’t work.”
            As people of faith, God has created us to live boldly in the world.  To venture forth and share the hope and life that God gives us with others. It isn’t always easy to do.  But it is important to do.  As people of faith, we have the added assurance that God is calling us forward and walking with us; never to let go of us.  It is my hope and prayer that as we venture forth to live boldly into the ministries God is calling us to, that we can do so in the presence and power of the one who knows us and names us.
            In these days, remember to trust God, to venture forth and always remember that new worlds are discovered by those who refuse to quit.
            Loving God, thank you for being a God who calls.  You called Abraham forth to a new world, a new adventure.  You have continued to call the faithful to join you on an adventure to new worlds, where we can witness to your love and grace to those around us.  Give us the courage and strength we need to say yes to you and trust your guidance for our lives and our Church.  In the hope Jesus offers us, Amen