Inspiring us all after emerging from the waters of Florida after a 53 hour, 110 mile historic swim from Cuba, Diana Nyad spoke saying, “I’ve got three messages:”
1. “We should never, never give up”
On October 29, 1941, United Kingdom’s (Great Britain) Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, visited Harrow School to hear the traditional songs he had sung there as a youth, as well as to speak to the students. He made a complete speech that included these words: "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give in. Never give in. Never give in. Never give in."
You might be one stroke (continuing with the swimming analogy) from success. Give it one more stroke, one more step, one more try. Don’t quit. Don’t tap out, don’t throw in the towel. Don’t call it a day!
2. “You are never too old to chase your dreams”
In Genesis 37:18-21 we read of Joseph’s brothers referring to him as a dreamer and plotting to kill him with the mocking words: “Then we will see what will become of his dreams.” (ESV) In Genesis 42:6 the dream reaches fulfillment and in 42:9a, we read: “And Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed of them.” (ESV)
Has God spoken to you in the past…given you a dream, a vision of something he wanted (still wants) to do in your life and through your life? Have you forgotten? Have you decided you are too young, too old, too tired, too sick or too whatever? Be a dream chaser for the glory of God.
Diana shared that she had been chasing her dream of the Cuba-Florida swim for 35 years and had attempted it five times.
How about this from the venerable C.S. Lewis, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
3. “It looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team effort”
Diana didn’t swim alone. There were 40 people on her team helping her in numerous ways.
Today (in leadership in general and Christian leadership in particular) it is more about the team than the individual leader who rules over everything and everyone.
Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 makes it clear that we are a body, a team, a family. Think of team as meaning: Together Each Accomplishes More.
The Bible is clear on the subject of a plurality of leaders, not just one:
- Moses had a team to lead the people of Israel toward the promise land
- Joshua had a team to lead them into the promise landNehemiah had a team to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem
- David had a team of mighty men to fight the Lord’s battles
- Paul had a team of young men who traveled with him on his missionary journeys (Acts 20:4)
- Jesus had a team which took the gospel to the ends of the earth, fulfilling Matthew 28:18-20
The days of the Lone Ranger riding into town and doing everything single-handedly is no longer valid. From kindergarten forward we are taught to do things in teams and achieve better results through teams.
+ So, there are your “Swimming Lessons” for today.