"They gave the children of Israel a bad report … “The land … is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.” – Numbers 13:32 NKJV
Joseph Nicollet blazed new trails. Born in France on this day in 1786, his mastery of astronomy, mathematics, and geography led to a position at the Paris Observatory. But facing a crisis resulting from the French Revolution of 1830, Nicollet decided to immigrate to the United States.
After arriving in America, he determined to study and map the upper Mississippi River region. The results were unprecedented. Considered the first modern cartographer in the United States, he eventually mapped an area more than half the size of Europe. While
blazing new trails, he also provided the training ground for a new generation of explorers, including John Fremont.
Trailblazers like Nicollet have played a vital role throughout history. Risking dangers and facing countless unknowns, they have shown the way for others. They provide encouragement and accurate pictures of the paths to take, how to be prepared, and what to expect.
Some, like Nicollet, have excelled at blazing trails. But others, like the spies sent to explore the Promised Land, have fallen short. These men brought back a negative report that crushed the spirit of the Israelites.
Are you called to be a trailblazer? To explore new territory? To venture into the unknown? Listen to the Spirit. Let Him guide you. Seek to be accurate, yet strive to portray a confident attitude. Be a good example and a teacher for others, showing the way.
PrayerFather, open my eyes to see the world You have created. Help me to accurately report what I see in a positive light. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingNumbers 13