Friday, April 30, 2010

Vision Without Sight

On the morning of July 4th, 1952 Florence May Chadwick set out to be the first woman to swim the Catalina Channel. A thick blanket of fog saturated the morning and clung to the chilly ocean air as she entered the water. Sharks circled the water only a few yards away from Florence, threatening to stop her journey at every stroke.

But it wasn't the cold water, nor the frosty air, nor the ravenous sea creatures that kept Florence from reaching the shore that morning. It wasn't a lack of skill, nor a lack of physical preparation, nor a lack of experience.

In the end - it was the fog that did her in.

Florence swam for 15+ hours straight, her body was tight, her arms and legs cramped below the surface of the water. Her coach and mother urged her to keep pressing forward, to finish what she had begun. Ultimately Florence was pulled out of the water and into the safe harbor of the row boat. She was less than 1/2 a mile from reaching the shore.

Once on the shore she told a reporter, "Look, I'm not excusing myself, but if I could have seen land I know I could have made it."

Florence Chadwick went on to achieve great things in her lifetime - but this one incident is so remarkable, & so brilliant, because it captures the essence of human discouragement and lack of faith. What happens to many people when they set out to accomplish and achieve - they give up, not knowing how close they are to reaching their goal.

"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." -St. Augustine

2 comments:

Elliot Schrock said...

Great Story!

Nicole Hughes said...

Shoot yea it is!! I know we all get caught up in the "fog" now and again. But it is our character during these times that define us and what we will be remembered for.