If you fly on an airplane or travel any distance by ship, your safety hinges on what is unseen. This may not sound accurate, since the pilot flying the plane looks through a window and the captain of the ship stands on the ship’s bridge to view the waters ahead. But visual recognition, particularly on long journeys, is not the most helpful means of navigation. In fact, trusting what is seen in these situations often leads to disaster. (It is true that ocean-going ships can use the stars for navigation, but modern electronic positioning is the more dominant form.) For successful and safe directions on long trips in this modern era, trusting what is unseen is vital. For a journey to have a pleasant end, it is important to know where you are in reference to where you want to go. Determining the longitude and latitude of one’s position is a safe way to determine where you are. If you use a GPS form of electronic navigation, the longitude and latitude coordinates are readily available from your GPS device. This topic becomes more interesting when you understand that these lines of longitude and latitude are arbitrary and unseen.
In 1884, 0 degrees longitude at Greenwich, England, was determined to be the Prime Meridian for the world and the official basis for the international time zone system. As this line continues upward from Greenwich and crosses the North Pole, it becomes 180 degrees longitude, or the International Date Line. Modern time keeping and global positioning systems are dependent on this imaginary line that circles planet Earth. This line was not discovered by excavating until a visible line was found with the words Prime Meridian written on it. A British astronomer, George Airy, established the location of the Prime Meridian in Greenwich in 1851. But Airy did not excavate to find this line; he established its location by his own decision. It was an arbitrary choice that others agreed to follow. So, why is this line so important?
Well, for example, let’s say that the United States Congress determined that the Prime Meridian should run through Washington, D.C. Thus, all of the maps and time zones for U.S. purposes would be based on this new location of the Prime Meridian. Then, suppose that the leaders in India should decide that the Prime Meridian would run through their country. Finally, what if each of the world’s 200 plus countries should determine that the Prime Meridian would run through each of their countries? Incredible chaos would result from these actions. It would be impossible to navigate or tell time with each country demanding that theirs be the one that establishes the Prime Meridian. So you see that the establishment of an unseen line is essential for travel and time keeping worldwide.
The acceptance of the Prime Meridian by all the countries in the world leads to stability, at least for measuring time and space. But for issues of lifestyle, ethics, morality and purity, the world has chosen to use whatever standard suits individual needs at the moment. From the standpoint of morality and social conduct, the resulting chaos is just as devastating as if each country had its own Prime Meridian. Issues of sexuality, abortion, murder and others are seen not from one moral compass, but from a composite of many conflicting views. People, governments, and sadly, many church leaders then attempt to form a consensus based upon divergent and often opposing perspectives. Chaos.
You have the blessing of being able to teach your children that the Bible is God’s Prime Meridian for knowing how to navigate the troubling waters of life. The One who set this standard is totally trustworthy. Though he cannot be seen he can be trusted. The establishment of one Prime Meridian allows mankind to travel, tell time and provide direction for safe journeys throughout our planet. God has established his truth in written form in the Scriptures. This is the one and only way to truth and life. Rejoice in it!