In 1952, a young woman named Florence Chadwick waded into the water off Catalina Island. She intended to be the first woman to swim the 21 miles from the island to the California coast. The water was numbing cold and the fog was so thick she couldn’t see anything in front of her the entire time. She swam more than 15 hours, but discouraged by sharks and the biting cold she relented in her quest. Her trainer tried to encourage her to swim on since they were so close to land, but it seemed too insurmountable. She quit less than one-mile from her goal. Later she said, “I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the land I might have made it.” It wasn’t the cold or fear or exhaustion that caused Florence Chadwick to fail. It was the fog.
Two months after her failure, Florence Chadwick walked off the same beach into the same channel and swam the distance, setting a new speed record, because she could see the land.”
The fog of life causes many of us to quit when our goals are within our reach. It blinds us from our abilities to accomplish the impossible. Overcoming insurmountable obstacles is the mission of every human being. The fog tests our physical and mental endurance; it tests our faith.
The pressure of not knowing what’s ahead is tremendous on us all, and the daily dangers around us are added distractions. We can learn to ignore the dangers, resist the elements, but we can’t eliminate the fear of the unknown.
Once the fog has lifted we’ll all see our goals we missed and I suspect for most of us, they were always a small distance ahead. Our goals were always achievable, the only reason we stopped short, was the fog of the unknown.