Saturday, September 7, 2013

She/they did it!

On Labor Day, September 2, 2013, 64-year old Diana Nyad became the first person to complete the 110 mile swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida, without the protection of a shark cage or using swim fins.  This was Nyad’s 5th attempt at crossing the Florida Straits, and this time she/they did it!  Diana successfully completed the swim in 52 hours, 54 minutes, 18.6 seconds.  Amazingly, she was able to walk ashore at Smathers Beach in Key West.  Even though she was exhausted, she wanted people to know that she had 3 messages to share with them.
1 “We should never ever give up.”
2 “You are never too old to chase your dreams.”
3 “It looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team.”
Nyad’s first attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida was in 1978 at the age of 28.  She swam inside a shark cage, but after 42 hours and 76 miles she had to stop due to strong winds and currents which caused her to swim off course.  There were two additional endeavors in 2011 and another try in 2012.  And on her 5th attempt, she/they did it!
During the swimming ventures, there were obstacles to overcome.  After each attempt, these were addressed in hopes of making the next try a success.  Diana Nyad had to deal with winds, swift currents, swells, sharks, box jellyfish stings, fatigue and dehydration, storms, swimming off course, a shoulder injury, asthma, and swimming through the Gulf Stream.  
Nyad knows and acknowledges that what looks like a solitary sport is actually a team effort.  She had a team of 25 to support her efforts and cheer her on.  There were 5 boats which carried navigators, managers, shark experts, medical personnel, weather routers, and boat crews.  To keep Diana from veering off course, she was led by a catamaran pulling a ten foot streamer that was submerged 5 feet underwater.  It was like following a swim line in the pool.  At night, she was led by red LED lights.  Because of teamwork, she/they were successful on this most recent attempt!
As Christians, we too have lessons to learn, experience, and share.
* It’s best to keep our eyes on Jesus to guide us and keep us on course.
* We will have trials and obstacles to confront and deal with in this life,
    but we have the promise that God will be with us. 
* When we persevere and do God’s will, He will give us what He
* God has gifted each one of us and we are meant to share those gifts
    helping and encouraging others. 
* We should never ever give up pursuing Jesus and doing what He asks.
* You are never too young or too old to desire God’s purpose for your life
    and become who He created you to be.
* There is joy in the journey when we work together to accomplish a task.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:3-8

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