Well, it's that time of year again when students, teachers and parents gain excitement about upcoming completions and graduations. The excitement may be that one school year has ended or perhaps that a pretty significant step lies ahead, like moving from Junior to your Senior year. But even in the midst of the excitement, there are also groups consisting of those frustrated and those nervous.
Often the frustration comes from students or parents thinking there are some assignments lacking for a particular class or two, or maybe that test scores didn't accurately measure comprehension. The resulting weight of this frustration and nervousness can cause even the strongest personalities to think about giving up and throw in the towel.
There is a story of a young lady by the name of Florence Chadwick that may give some much needed motivation and hope when any of us may face these feelings.
A little history
As a young child, Florence started swimming and began to enter as many competitions as she could. She had remarkable success from age 10 all the way into her 30s. One goal she had was to swim the English Channel but was turned away because of an apparent lack of reputation. Determined to not let that stop her and at her own expense, Florence set out to swim the channel.
During 1950 and '51, Florence became the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions plus, breaking the then current time records.
The next year in 1952, armed with much confidence, Florence stepped into the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, this time determined to swim across the Catalina Channel to the shores of mainland California.
The weather that day was foggy and cold. Florence could barely see the boats accompanying her. Nonetheless, she began the swim and swam for over fifteen hours. Completely exhausted and not seeing the shoreline because of the fog, she begged to be taken out of the water. This despite the encouragement her mother gave her, who was riding alongside her in a boat, saying she was close and that she could make it.
Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, she stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn’t until she was on the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away.
At a news conference held the next day Florence said, “All I could see was the fog.…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”
There are so many lessons we can take from this story. But let's focus on at least one.
Thinking you're not going to graduate to the next level because an assignment is not completed or something is lacking can cause you to only see fog, just like the fog that prevented Florence Chadwick from seeing the nearby shore. Quitting just before the finish is simply not an option!
By the way, two months after Florence Chadwick was pulled up into the boat after quitting so close to the shore, she successfully swam the Catalina Channel and, in fact, completed it two more times after that.
There are a few things to keep in mind that can help you stay focused and reach the finish line.
Maintain perspective. Just like when Florence couldn't see the approaching shore while swimming in the water, we sometime have to lift our heads up and get a better perspective of where we're at. Take inventory, figure out what needs to be done and go after it.
Ask for help. Many times our pride may prevent us from simply asking for a little help. At Lighthouse Christian School, we love it when our students succeed! We believe we're successful only when our students are. So, if you have a challenge with something, ask your teacher or Campus Director for some assistance. They are delighted to help!
Keep your eye on the prize. Stay focused and eliminate or at least minimize the distractions in your life. If you've got an assignment that has to be done by a certain time, don't stray away from doing the work. If you set your goal to successfully complete it, just do it. We know you can!
Celebrate. Learn t