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Diana Nyad.  Her very name brings a warm feeling to those who hear it.  For more than three decades she dedicated herself to accomplishing the task of swimming the 110-mile stretch of dangerous waters between Cuba and Key West.  Despite her countless sacrifices and years of demanding training, four times she failed, plagued by bad weather and painful jellyfish bites. While many would have quietly abandoned their dream after four failed attempts, her failures fueled her passion to find a way across those waters.  Diana stated, “I wanted to swim this endeavor not to just be the athletic record. I wanted it to be a lesson for my life that says, be fully engaged. Be so awake and alert and alive every minute of every waking day….” On her fifth try at the age of 64 that spirit and determination helped her overcome every obstacle and made her dream a reality.

Our journey to true Discipleship is also fraught with danger, difficulties and enormous challenges.  Being a Christian is a happy life, but not an easy one.  As Christ says, the world will hate you as it has hated me.  To follow Christ, we, like Diana, will need to be fully engaged in life, awake, alert and alive every moment. Like Diana, we will often fail, despite our efforts.  Sometimes we may even pause while we are down to ask ourselves if we really want to get up and battle the same struggles yet again. Diana’s failures propelled her to get up with even more energy and dedication to reaching her goal.  While we appreciate Diana’s dream, our dream of building Christ’s kingdom is the most important in the history of humankind.  The relentless pursuit of that goal should power us through any fault, any failure and any doubt to find a way.  With God on our side, our ultimate success is guaranteed.

May we be inspired by Diana to never quit and always, always find a way to follow our Lord  – alive, awake, alert and fully engaged!

God bless you!