Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Short Story

This true story illustrated that diligence us important, especially when someone charts a path that others will follow.

On January 17, 1524, Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano embarked on a voyage to the New World. Commissioned by the king of France to explore the coastal area between Florida and Nova Scotia, Giovanni and his brother Gerolomo were given the three-mast La Dauphine, and charged with the task of discovering a direct westward sea route to the orient. On March 1, Verrazano sighted the point of land now known as Cape Fear in North Carolina, and from that point he slowly worked his way northward, periodically landing on the east coast, and making careful notations in his log. The exploration concluded with a survey of the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The La Dauphine returned to France on July 8, 1524, and the Verrazano brothers immediately set themselves to the task of creating a map that represented their discoveries.

The result of their labours, now known as the Verrazano World Map, was published in 1529. The map was instantly regarded as the best authority on the east coast of North America; it was copied by mapmakers and distributed to navigators for over fifty years. Only afterwards did cartographers suspect that something was wrong. Terribly wrong.

The Verrazano brothers made a critical mistake when they encountered the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Viewing a body of water on the opposite side of the banks, Giovanni and Gerolomo agreed that this was what they had been looking for - a sea lane leading directly to the Far East. As a result, their map depicted North America in two halves, with the southern half (now the southern United States) divided from the northern half (the northeastern United States) by a great sea that passed directly to the Pacific. The "Sea of Verrazano", as it turned out, was only the Pamlico Sound situated between the coast of North Carolina and the Outer Banks. The Verrazano brothers had not sufficiently explored the waters beyond the banks, and the misinformation that followed took the better half of a century to correct.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15

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