by Christopher Harbin

By Faith, Not By Sight
Christopher B. Harbin
2nd Corinthians 5:1-10

It is difficult for us to face the future. We stare into an unknown, uncertain as to the direction to take. When Columbus started off on a navigation to take him across the world to India, he did not know he would end up on islands off two continents he knew nothing about. He had some information on which he set sail. He knew the earth was a globe, he just thought it was a third smaller than it is. Had the islands of the Caribbean and the American continents not existed, he would likely have run out of food and water before reaching his destination. He had some information to go on, but it was not really enough. He took a chance and it served him well, even if things did not turn out as he expected.
Not all risks taken succeed. For every story like that of Columbus, hundreds more don't turn out so well. We heard this week of a boatload of refugees leaving Turkey for Europe who drowned when their boat capsized. They were leaving one disastrous situation in Syria in hopes of a better life, only to find their lives cut short. They stepped out into a risky venture, paying smugglers to get them out of a desperate situation, knowing full well of its uncertainty. They sought relief from known disaster, heading into uncertainty that spoke of risk along with possibility and hope. Their situation was not unlike that of so many taking the risks to enter this country to escape severe economic conditions and drug violence in countries to the south. They took a risk along with many others, not knowing the future, but believing the risk was worthwhile.
We celebrate the adventures of Columbus. We grieve over the misplaced hopes of the boatload of refugees. At heart, they are not very different from each other. One succeeding in a risky venture, the others did not. The motivations that drove them were very similar. They looked at the information before them and made choices, risky choices, ...

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