“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” (2 Corinthians 2:12-14)
Ben Lecomte paused, adjusted his goggles one last time, and then slipped into the raging pacific surf. He wasn’t just going for a pleasure swim. This was a monumental challenge staring him in the face. But as he glanced back up at his support team, he felt confident they could make it. He and his team, who were watching him closely from the vessel, were about to start across the Pacific Ocean for the first transoceanic swim in history. They were starting from the Kanto Region of Japan and planning to paddle all the way to San Francisco.
As I watched a series of videos on this historic swim, I was deeply impressed by the teamwork needed for the project. The teamwork element was especially powerful because I saw a family resemblance. The project manager who was piloting the ship, organizing the support team, and gauging the weather was Ben Lecomte’s nephew, Paul Lecomte. He was all in because a family member’s safety was at stake. It was inspiring to see them struggling against the ocean’s power to make history. But the ending of the story was even more powerful for me. The weather had suddenly turned about a quarter of the way through the journey. The team already had to turn back to Japan once when a typhoon crept up on them. But now, after facing gale force winds for weeks, they all looked up in terror as the main mast of the ship shuddered violently. The sails had been torn loose several times already, but now it wasn’t just the sails getting stripped off, the mast itself was shaking. After calling Ben back into the boat, they knew there was no way out. They would have to call off the expedition.
Afterwards, Ben Lecomte in an interview said that he was disappointed because he wasn’t able to push to his physical limits, but he also made it clear that he wasn't willing to put his team at risk (BBC News). Despite his cherished dreams, his most cherished ambition was to continue sailing and swimming with his family team. He wasn’t willing to put them at risk for his own gain. Friends, we have great goals, we have grand adventures awaiting. But at the end of the day, we’re all responsible for guarding the safety, dignity, and well-being—spiritual or otherwise—of our fellow believers to the best of our ability. As the text says, we’re all one body in Christ as a church family and we have a blessed privilege of growing together. Let’s accept this opportunity to reflect Christ to those around us!
"Ben Lecomte: Swimmer Abandons Attempt to Swim Pacific." BBC News. 27 November 2018