Today is Columbus day.
The simple days of my youth when we were taught that Columbus discovered America are long gone now. We now know the vikings were ahead of Columbus, and led by Leif Eriksson set up a colony in the new world. We are positive of that. But there are indications in the North East that the Phoenicians were here ahead of even the vikings. And there is other evidence that there was a Hebrew influence here prior to Columbus as well, in places like the Bat Creek find in TN. And long before all of these, there was a land bridge from Siberia, and there were several expeditions into the Americas from that avenue, with the Eskimo's being the most obvious examples.
So, why do we continue to celebrate Columbus Day?
Because Columbus led the first European incursion into the new world that survived with their culture intact, and became the dominant people on this continent.
Not to mention the fact that what Columbus sought was a shorter trade route to the Orient, which means his arrival in the new world was an accident.
We read about the guy that accidentally discovered Ivory Soap by letting his soap mixing machine run too long. We hear about the one that accidentally invented the Slinky when he made a bunch of springs to the wrong specification. We are told that the Post-it note inventor was initially chastised for making a paper glue that did not hold very well. But the settlement of the New World through Columbus accidentally stumbling on it is a far greater discovery than any of these. You might even think this was God's will, wouldn't you?
And the quote for today is from one of the Apocryphal books:
Wisdom of Solomon 14:2-3 (NRSV);
2 For it was desire for gain that planned that vessel, and wisdom was the artisan who built it;
3 but it is your providence, O Father, that steers its course, because you have given it a path in the sea, and a safe way through the waves,
May God bless each one of you -