When I think of the word endurance, my mind visualizing a wooden ship caught in the Antarctic ice of the Wendell Sea. The ship’s name was Endurance. It was under the command of Ernest Shackelton. The story attached with the expedition associated with this ship is linked in my mind to two story notes; there is a chance of success no matter what the odds are and the word “endure” defined by a man’s simple and resolute will not to fail.
Without going into the whole story, imagine that you are one of thirty-one men on a shipped trapped in the ice more than a thousand miles from the nearest place of human inhabitance. It is the middle of winter with perpetual darkness. Supplies are limited. Nobody is going to come to your rescue. As each day passes, the grip of the ice on the ship gets tighter and tighter. The prevailing winds and current ensure that there is no chance that its grip will be reversed for months to come.
Putting myself in this place, after screaming at myself followed by everyone around me, my natural reaction would be along the following lines; “How long do we have to put up with this, God? Do you have it in for us for good? Will your smoldering rage never cool down?” (Psalm 79.5)
I doubt that I would be alone in my thoughts.
Not everyone shares my thoughts. One believed. One believed that everything is possible. One was determined to give fully and completely of himself to that belief. At this point and many that followed, only one seen as a fool believed. Tough decisions were wrestled with and executed. Disagreements were heard to a point and pragmatic decisions that everyone chose to live with followed. The determination of one became the commitment of all for one.
There are days where I feel the Antarctic wind, cold, and darkness closing in. I can feel scream forming, pushing to be released. I also hear one calling us to the possible. Hope lives as long as we respond.