Christopher Columbus has taken Me by Surprise!

Christopher Columbus was not, as our history lessons taught us, seeking a new trade route to the Indies when he set sail westward in August of 1492.

Christopher Columbus was following what he believed was a call & a mission from Almighty God, a mission to bring the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the vast, pristine land we now know as America.

If I had not ‘happened across’ a mention of ‘The Light and the Glory’ (see previous post) some months ago, I still would not know this. Now that I do, I’m finding more information available on this subject than I would’ve thought. As I’ve begun to delve into the topic, rather than my original sense of elated euphoria, I’m feeling a heaviness. And I feel sick. I’m not sure if I am physically getting sick, or if the weight of what I’m learning is having a psychosomatic effect. Either way, this dye has been cast & I’m in it now…

Following several relevant articles, I’m getting an impression of a passionate but prideful, headstrong man, who, though seemingly following his heart-call from God, succumbed to ambition, greed and cruelty before all was said & done. And while at first, he appears to the novice reader to be, truly, the man of God’s choice for God’s purposes, (and still appears so to me!), upon learning more one finds that some of his beliefs/supposedly divinely-inspired goals never happened…Columbus was off the mark. (Or so it seems…) Moreover, mention is made more than once of Columbus’ eventual ‘madness’.

No matter his flaws & downfalls. We all have them. Even King David, whom Scripture labels ’a man after God’s own heart’, committed adultery and murder, so…a man’s life mission, once accomplished, ought not necessarily be judged according to his mistakes, though grave. In this case, those issues are separate. And when we consider the enormity of Columbus’ victorious discoveries, and the life-threatening risks involved in navigating three thousand miles of essentially uncharted seas…like I said, separate issues. I can’t even fathom the kind of courage it would take to sail into the unknown like that. I wonder, without such pride, or desire for fame, would one ever maintain such focus, keeping their ‘eye on the prize’ throughout? Maybe the less ‘lovely’ aspects of the character of Christopher Columbus in fact provided the staying power needed to accomplish Divine purpose.


I have written often of America’s first President, George Washington, and written with deep gratitude & profound respect. It has always been clear to me that here was a man chosen, equipped and empowered by God, for His great purposes in raising up this great country. And I have been so impacted by the character of Washington. The esteem in which I hold him will endure forever.

Though a much different personality (or so I find, at this point in my discoveries), Christopher Columbus has reached into my heart and found a forever place as well.


I am mentally circling the landing field, trying to pinpoint which aspect of Columbus’ life & character I want to tackle first….if I wait ‘til I decide, then finish actually writing it!…could be another couple weeks before I get anything posted! So, for today, the above is all I have ready….


6 responses to “Christopher Columbus has taken Me by Surprise!

  1. As I read your article I found it very interesting. By reading your article I have confirmed in myself that It makes no difference what station we have in this life we all have our flaws, even the great people like you have showed here. As long as we life in this fleshly body we will all have our "Thorn in the Flesh" Something that we must strive to overcome. There was only one perfect person that ever walked this earth and that was Jesus Christ. The closer we get to Him the more we will be like Him. What impresses me about George Washington is he was a humble man and the more that you read his writings you will see that he loved the Lord and showed it in his writings. After reading some or your article I think that Christopher Columbus is like a lot of preachers today. They start out right but they fall to greed, power, and other things. Once again you have wrote an excellent article that has set me to thinking and as always I look forward to your articles.

  2. Wow, I never knew that Columbus's mission was more of a "missionary" type mission. This is very interesting, and I might have to search for some of those other sources you mentioned. Have you found anything good online? Care to share a few links with us?

  3. Bill, thanks for stopping by "in person"! and,of course I appreciate much the encouragement.Good insight about Columbus/preachers, too…"…our "Thorn in the Flesh" Something that we must strive to overcome." – I'd like to comment on this statement, b/c I always have issues with words like 'should', 'ought to', 'must', or God 'expects', 'requires' etc. (in regards to walking through this life in Christ.) Sounds like Law, to me. And takes our focus off of Him, worse, puts it on ourselves, & sets us up for an endless cycle of try/fail, then discouragement/despair? Reminded me of 2 Cor.3:18: "But we…beholding…the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." This has always seemed to me to be pointing our attention towards Him only, and the change is by the Spirit of God, not what we try to do to change. Plus, that 'thorn in the side' Scripture, isn't that where the Lord told Paul, My grace is sufficient? I feel a post coming on!

  4. Andy, as Sarah Palin would say, "You betcha!"But I just wasn't organized enough to include links, etc., this post. Next one, promise! And I, too, had never realized Columbus' mission was other than trade-oriented, 'til recently. Just as the opening up of the Revolutionary era & spirit rocked my world, so too does this. The impact is profound.

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