Monthly Archives: October 2014

Swimming to Hawaii

Swimming to HawaiiAre you trying to gain acceptance with God on your own?  Are you relying on your best attempts at a good life, your better-than-average lifestyle, or your religious credentials?  If you’re depending on anything other than what Christ has already done for you, maybe you can relate to the swimmers in this story:

Three people stood at the end of a dock along the California coast, determined to swim across the Pacific Ocean to the paradise of the Hawaiian Islands.  The first swimmer had religiously gone to the pool almost every Sunday of his life.  He felt he had made a decent effort at learning how to swim, at least as much as could be expected, and he was probably as good as or better than most.  Surely, he thought, this would get him across the ocean to paradise.  However, as he jumped off the dock and began to swim, he made it only a few miles before he began to sink.

The second swimmer not only went to the pool each Sunday, but also began each day with a mile swim and ended it with another mile swim.  She held countless positions at the swim club, she tirelessly studied the physiology and psychology of swimming, and she selflessly helped others in their pursuit of swimming excellence.  Her dedication to swimming and her hard work earned her the respect of her swimming peers around the world.  As she dove into the water and began her long journey, a boat followed her for more than twenty miles as her powerful and graceful strokes carried her through the mounting waves and mighty currents of the Pacific Ocean.  Finally, however, she too could make it no longer and drowned.

Finally, the third swimmer readied himself for the long swim.  He was undoubtedly the greatest swimmer the world had ever known, sweeping eight gold medals for swimming in each of the past four Olympic Games.  Not only had he broken every record the swimming world had to offer, but he had shattered them, leaving his peers with virtually no hope of ever matching his swimming excellence.  He too dove into the waters and swam off into the horizon as well-wishing onlookers lined the coast as far as the eye could see.  He was truly the best mankind had to offer, and he had no equal in his surpassing greatness.  As nightfall came, he had passed the locations where each of the first two swimmers had drowned, and his strokes were still powerful and effective.  Eventually, however, his greatest efforts also fell short, and he too sank to the bottom of the ocean.

A pilot flying overhead observed that he had swam over 250 miles towards his desired destination before going under, a feat unmatched in human history.  However, the pilot also noted that the champion swimmer’s best efforts got him just over one-tenth of the way to paradise.