Max Lucado’s Facing Your Giants is one of my all-time favorite books. There is one story from the book that sticks with me in tough times. In the book, Lucado tells the story of Florence Chadwick. Here’s a good summary of her story from Wikipedia:
In 1952, Florence attempted to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and the California coastline. As she began, she was flanked by small boats that watched for sharks and were prepared to help her if she got hurt or grew tired. After about 15 hours a thick fog set in. Florence began to doubt her ability, and she told her mother, who was in one of the boats, that she didn’t think she could make it. She swam for another hour before asking to be pulled out, unable to see the coastline due to the fog. As she sat in the boat, she found out she had stopped swimming just one mile away from her destination.
Per Lucado, Florence later explained at a news conference, “All I could see was the fog. I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”1
There are many times when all I can see is fog. I want to give up. Pull me out of the water; I’m through. In those dark times, I remember Lucado’s advice:
Take a long look at the shore that awaits you. Don’t be fooled by the fog of the slump. The finish may only be strokes away … Stay in the water. Stay in the race. Stay in the fight.1
Florence Chadwick learned that lesson as well…
Two months later, Chadwick tried again. This time was different. The same thick fog set in, but she made it because she said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam.
I love this story and Lucado’s advice. We do need to stay in the race. Honestly, though, I sometimes struggle with visualizing the “shoreline”. Sometimes, I have no idea which direction God is leading. A life of faith often means taking one step without knowing what the next one will be. For me, faith means staying in the race and focusing on my Father, not necessarily a finish line. Sometimes, the journey is more important than the destination. Oswald Chambers does a great job of explaining this in My Utmost for His Highest:
His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process—that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.2
Too many times, I want to skip the process and get to the end. I love that God loves me enough to focus on the process—because that’s where I learn to keep my eyes locked on him.
1 Facing Your Giants, © 2006 by Max Lucado, Pg 70-71
2 My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, July 28th entry
Content Copyright 2011. Allison @ Anointed With Grace.
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