A Split Second From Death

Several years ago, there was a young man who excelled at the sport of high diving, and to compliment his training for the Olympics, he attended a university where his skill could be honed to that of near perfect. He had a brilliant coach and the best available facilities.  The only thing this young man didn’t like was that his roommate was a Christian who loved to shared the Gospel.  

The roommate shared his faith of a Savior who came, lived, and died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin.  The diver ignored, time and again, this young man’s witness and showed absolutely no interest in the message.  His only concern was to train for diving to win a gold medal.  Even so, there was an inward feeling of conviction that would not go away.  He never mentioned his struggle with this conviction with his Christian roommate.  

One night, he tossed and turned in his bed all night and since he could not sleep he decided that he would go practice some dives and went to the swimming facility.  A full moon dimly lighted the pool facility.  There was just enough light to make his way up the ladder to the ten-foot diving platform.  He walked to the edge, and when he held out his hands and prepared to dive, he noticed on the wall, a shape of the cross. His outstretched arms and his frame revealed a cross-shaped shadow cast by his own body.  He paused to look at it and ponder it.  

Just as he looked away to make his dive, the custodian flipped on the light and shouted, “Don’t dive…the pool’s been drained.” The young man looked down at the concrete surface of the empty pool.  It was then that he realized that only by pausing to look at his cross-shaped shadow had he been spared from certain death.  At that moment, the diver knelt and cried, releasing all of his burden of sin.  He thought of the cross and the Savior that had died for him. He was only a split-second from death, but was saved by the cross.  This time he thought of the Savior who had actually died on that cross…so that he could live. But now this life that was saved, was saved for eternity.  

An excerpt from Charles Swindoll’s book called The Church Awakening, An Urgent Call for Renewal. Copyright, 2010. Faithwords Publishing, New York. ISBN-13 978-0-446-55653-8

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