This past Monday, 64 year old, Diana Nyad, became the first person ever to swim the seemingly insurmountable 110 miles of open ocean from Cuba to Florida. Nearly 53 hours. Treacherous waters. No shark cage (an apparatus designed to be pulled behind a boat to protect the swimmer from shark attacks). Two nights of suffering. Her face swollen and lacerated from the effects of exposure. Serious abrasions from the stings of jellyfish. Recurring nausea from ingesting salt water. Her first attempt at the swim was 35 years ago in 1978. She has been told over and over it was impossible. But never believed it. 5 attempts and 35 years later she has proved the impossible possible.
Exhausted and depleted, Diana said that she had “three messages” to share: “One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you are never too old to chase your dreams. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.” I am impressed with these three statements. Whether she has thought of these “three messages” for decades, or if they were completely spontaneous, they speak us right where we are, in a spiritual way.
1) Never, ever give up.
I wonder what have you given up on? Who have you given up on? Where have you conceded defeat? How has Satan convinced you that you do not measure up? What impresses me is that after four failures, Diana kept training, kept dreaming, and gave it another try. (After 35 years, it sounds as if she’d have made a sixth attempt if the fifth had failed.)
2) You are never too old to chase your dreams.
I’m thinking of our life in the Kingdom. What is it that God has called you to do for the world around you that you’ve come up with every excuse in the book as to why it wouldn’t work? (Because that is fear whispering in your ear, not faith.)
3) It looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team.
There were over thirty people on board boats that traveled with Diana. Cheering her on. Keeping her confidence up. Searching the surrounding waters for dangers. Encouraging her when she was physically exhausted and emotionally depleted. That’s precisely who we are to be for one another. Sometimes you’re the one navigating the treacherous waters. At other times you’re in the boat warning of dangers or providing encouragement and direction. But this Christian life is not a solitary one. It takes a team.
Three messages, that maybe today, you needed to hear.
Glory to God!