Star Trek: The Next Generation was a popular TV series of an earlier decade. It is probably still today airing in reruns on various TV channels. I guess one could say that I was one such “fan” of that series, but I don’t consider myself a “trekkie”. As I recall, so spoke the Captain, Jean-Luc Picard, at the beginning of each episode, “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Outer space is the great prairie of this "next generation," space travel being "the thing" that grips many of this age. In past ages it was the sea; many ambitious ones today, I’m sure, still yearn to explore the ocean depths. In earlier times, the African continent was considered the "last frontier."
Yet, all around the world—from the ocean depths to the depths of outer space—dangers await those spirited enough purposed to answer the call to "explore strange new worlds." They have been willing to risk their lives, to stretch out their environment to the regions beyond.
Christopher Columbus was one, answering the call in his day. As goes an ancient teaching, supposedly he set out to prove that the world was not flat. Truer than that, however, he had sensed the call of God that he was to take the Gospel of the Kingdom to the regions beyond. Setting out from Spain on a westward voyage for a new route to China and India, he discovered the western hemisphere. Yet, so purposed, it did not free him from the perils he would face in crossing the seas—his for the cause of Christ his Savior.
Crossing the great seas was no easy trek. As the ships sailed the oceans, who knew what wind and rain they would face? Perhaps for sure some ships did find their “eternal rest” on the ocean bottoms.
As a ship at sea would get lost beyond the waves, so a prairie schooner—of America’s frontier—could "drown" on the prairie. Only the strong, rugged, and brave could meet the challenge of the prairie; the old west was a wild country, and lawless.
Yet, in those early days there were bold and courageous adventurers. And for sure, as Christopher Columbus, there were some who heard the call of God to “go” with the message of Christ, as was for one couple, for a spell, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman.
Yet, the movement westward was no easy trek. The Native Americans ("Indians," erroneously named by Christopher Columbus, thinking he had reached his destination to India) were “pushed” into the prairie by those white settlers, they having discovered the new world and claimed it for themselves. “Indian” wars were then a peril the settlers had to combat.
There was the danger of buffalo stampedes and prairie fires; perhaps such ignited by the Indians as an attempt to discourage the westward movement. It was a struggle of man against nature; man against beast; and man against man. (Read all about it in James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Prairie.)
Just as there are perils in crossing the continents, the ocean depths, and outer space, there are perils too in trekking through life. Yet, such are overcome and have been so, through the Lord Jesus, the Christ (Messiah). As we answer the call as Christopher Columbus had done—to take the Good News to the regions beyond—we, too, are promised that we are not free from perils. Yet, through it all, as Jesus encourages, "Be of good cheer". (See John 16:33) He is our “Rock, Fortress, and Deliverer.” (See Psalm 18:2)
The apostle Paul writes that he, too, “on frequent journeys [was] in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure” (2 Corinthians 11:25-27)
Nevertheless, as God commanded Joshua, so He commands His Christ-followers today: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened , and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)