“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13
I recently heard a story about Florence Chadwick, a truly inspiring story of perseverance and tenacity. She was an American open-water long-distance swimmer. She was the first woman to swim the English Channel – in both directions.
On July 4, 1952, at the age of 34, she set her goal of being the first woman to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and the California Coast. As she swam, she was flanked by small boats for her safety. Sharks had to be warded off as they zeroed in on the woman swimming in the open water. Partway into her swim, a heavy, dense fog settled around her. Hour after hour she swam on, not being able to see anything around her at times, even the aide boats were obscured.
With each stroke she longed to catch a glimpse of the shoreline – but the fog prevented her from seeing her goal. Finally, she decided to stop – the first time she ever quit a swim. Once pulled from the cold water, only then did she realize she was about a half mile from the California shore.
Florence explained that she quit because she couldn’t see the shoreline due to the fog. She could not see herself reaching her goal.
A few months later, she made another attempt to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast. Again the heavy, dense fog enveloped her – but she continued to swim until she reached her goal. What made the difference? Even though the fog obscured her vision she kept a visual image of the California coastline constantly in her mind. Though she could not physically see her destination, she never lost sight of it.
Oh, by the way, when she completed the 26 mile swim, she broke the previous record time by 2 hours! [That record was set by a man- just saying]
None of the obstacles she faced, the frigid water, the sharks, the fatigue, none of them prevented her from reaching her goal. Keeping her mind firmly fixed on her goal motivated her to finish and to finish well.
What goal do you have fixed in your mind’s-eye that is so motivating that you are able to overcome the obstacles in your life?
Diane Hunt is a Biblical Counselor, Women’s conference and retreat speaker and author. She serves as the Director of Partner Care and Director of Women’s Ministries at America’s Keswick. She and her husband John have two married children and four grandchildren. She loves reveling in warm sunny climates and playing with her grandchildren.