Today I am re-posting an article from BLOGOS on the overall concept of seeing beyond the fog. I thought it captured beautifully the importance of keeping our focus on the main thing. And as it has been said, the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. It’s not yet in sight, but it is most definitely there!
It was 1952. An American woman named Florence Chadwick set out to be the first woman to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and the California coastline. Two years before, she had successfully swam the English Channel, setting a new record of 13 hours and 20 minutes. This trip toward California was different though. The water was numbing cold. She was flanked by small boats that carried spotters — their job was to look for sharks and scare them away. They were also available to help if Florence needed assistance. One of those boats carried Florence’s mother.
Around 15 hours into the swim, Florence was exhausted, numb from the cold, and she couldn’t go on. Thick fog had set in and she began to doubt her abilities. She cried out to her mother, telling her that she couldn’t make it any farther. Her mother encouraged her to go on and Florence continued swimming for another hour before she asked to be pulled from the water. As she sat in the boat, she learned that she had stopped swimming just a half-mile from the coastline. Devastated she said, “All I could see was fog…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.” She said it felt like she was going nowhere and not making any progress.
Two months later, Florence tried to swim the Catalina Canal again. When the fog set in, she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind. That mental image kept her going and she knew the finish line was close. She completed the swim that day, becoming the first woman to swim the Catalina Canal. She also eclipsed the men’s record by two hours!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard numerous people bemoan the direction our country is headed. “What are we going to do?” they cry. Yes, our world is turning increasingly secular and moving further from biblical principles. We can express concerned and be in prayer, but I think we forget the end of the story. We forget who wins! Let’s read the back of the book:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4
This magnificent world awaits — what a glorious day! It is just beyond the fog. Keep swimming. Don’t let the conditions of our time obscure the view and distract you from the end of the story! While swimming in the fog, set your mind on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:1-2). Just like Florence, we can keep the shoreline in our minds.
When it feels like you can’t swim another yard, look beyond the fog. It’s glorious!
(Inspired by a sermon by Pastor Brandon Markette.)