When they pulled her body from the waters she looked like someone who had indeed battled the cold chopping waters of the English Channel.
She didn’t know how long she had been swimming but her coach knew and it was he would who threw in the towel.
Fearing she had taken in too much salt water he ordered her swimming companion to help Gertrude Ederle.
As a result she was disqualified after eight hours and nearly completed the long unprecedented journey.
While she recovered the fog lifted and it was clear to everyone just how close she came to accomplishing her goal.
She later stated, “Had I known it was so close I would have pressed on.”
As I reflect on that story I am persuaded that life is often just like that.
We all endure some choppy times and the occasional white squalls.
It is during those times that we may want to throw in the towel and call it a day.
Who could or would blame us. One can only endure the storms of life so long right?
When pressed on every side one could easily rationalize quitting, but those thoughts can be counter productive.
After all, who suffers when a dreamer’s dream is deferred?
The dreamer of course.
And if the fulfillment of those dreams are the real you, the authentic you shouldn’t you do everything in your power to preserve?
When pursuing a goal the bible states, “To lay aside every weight, so you can run with patience this race.”
Nehemiah wrote, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”
Another man was told not to look to his left nor his right. Instead his focus should be forward.
The great Winston Churchill told a group of graduates during a commencement speech, “Never never never never ever give up!”
One of my favorite posters depicts a frog with a choke hold on a pelican, refusing to give up.
I have found that that mindset has served me well in nearly every facet of life.
As an athlete quitting wasn’t an option.
My teammates and coaches wanted to know who was in the foxhole with them.
As a student I wanted to avoid getting into trouble with my parents and eventually graduate. In business you continue to strive to increase the bottom line.
As a parent I want to see that each one of my children are able to face the world and are able to fly on their own.
Even as I endure all of this the one thing that keeps me going is that I know in who I believe.
We are told in scripture, “That all things work together for good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”
Those moments endured are grist for the mill.
He will not allow us to suffer more than we can bear.
It is a lot like going to battle and already knowing the victorious outcome.
“Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.”
After all it was the victories over a lion and a bear that persuaded David that he would beat Goliath.
You may wonder whatever happened to Gertrude Ederle.
She fired her coach and on the next attempt she made it across the English Channel.