Here’s another great story from Charles Swindoll’s “Quest for Character.”
On May 24, 1965, a 13-and-a half-foot boat slipped quietly out of the marina at Falmouth, Massachusetts. Its destination? England. It would be the smallest craft ever to make the voyage. Its name was Tinkerbelle. It was piloted by Robert Manry, a copyeditor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He felt that 10 years at the desk was enough, so he took a leave of absence to fulfill his secret dream.
Manry was afraid of all those people who would try to talk him out of the trip, so he didn’t share it with many people, just some relatives and his wife, Virginia, who was his greatest source of support.
The trip was anything but pleasant. He spent traumatic nights of sleeplessness trying to cross shipping lanes without getting run over and sunk. Weeks at sea caused his food to become tasteless. Loneliness, that age-old monster of the deep, led to frightening hallucinations. His rudder broke three times. Storms knocked him overboard, and he was saved only by the rope tied around his waist. Finally, after 78 days alone at sea, he sailed into Falmouth, England.
Robert fantasized about what he would do once he arrived. He expected to just check into a hotel, eat dinner alone, get some sleep, and in the morning see if the Associated Press might be interested in his story. Surprise! Word got out and to his amazement. 300 vessels, with horns blasting, escorted Tinkerbelle into port. 40,000 people stood screaming and cheering him.
Robert Manry, the copyeditor turned dreamer, became a hero. He couldn’t have done it alone though. Standing on the dock was his wife, Virginia. She refused to be closed-minded to his dream. She encouraged him on. She was willing to take the risk too. She gave him the freedom to pursue his vision.
What about you, friend? Do you have a dream to pursue? Perhaps you are the spouse of a person with a dream. What will you do? Throw cold water on it? Deny it? Put it down and call it impossible? A waste of time and money? Maybe it is the pursuit of character! Could the dreamer simply want to be the person God wants them to be and reach the shores of heaven? Don’t hold them back. Get in the boat yourself and share the adventure. Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God. With God all things are possible.” Awesome.