Hold On!

Walter Albritton



When I was young, I read Thor Heyerdal’s “Kon-Tiki,” a true adventure story of five men who survived a dangerous 101-day journey across the Pacific Ocean in a primitive balsa wood raft. Having modeled their craft like those used by Indians hundreds of years before Christ, they used only the wind and ocean currents to steer the raft. The men made the 4,300-mile trip, from Peru to Polynesia, to prove their theory that Polynesia was first settled from the west and not the east.

During the 75 years since reading Heyerdal’s account of his adventure with five other Norse men, I have not read nor heard any reference to this captivating book. So, you can imagine my delight when I came across John Eldredge’s reference to “Kon-Tiki” in his new book, “Resilient.” He uses the story brilliantly to close his excellent book about ways to strengthen our weary, weakened souls. To whet your appetite for reading “Resilient,” here are five of Eldredge’s intriguing observations:

“Resilience is something that is bestowed, something imparted by God into our frail humanity.”

“Salvation is a new attachment, the soul’s loving bond to our loving God. … For the soul to be truly saved, for us to come home, our soul needs the loving attachment that mother-love first illustrates for us.”

“No matter how promising an idea sounds, if God’s not in it, you don’t want to be in it either.”

“You cannot let your emotions drive the bus.”

“If you want to become a wholehearted person, you must reach the point where happily, lovingly, you give absolutely everything over to God. You make Jesus your everything, your all-in-all.”

Eldredge ends his book by comparing the arrival of the “Kon-Tiki” in Polynesia to the end of our earthly life, which is always difficult. Heyerdal’s log raft was smashed to pieces by the massive waves of the reef at the island. As waves destroy the raft, Heyerdal and his friends are violently submerged underwater.

“I felt the suction through my whole body, with such great power that I had to strain every single muscle in my frame and think of one thing only — hold on, hold on,” Heyerdal wrote.

He did hold on, and soon was able to say, “The voyage was over. We were all alive.” Mission accomplished.

Eldredge says of the six men: “The men made it through because they didn’t let go. They acted like survivors till the end; they held on.”

Then he reminds us that by receiving the resilience God offers us, we too can hold on — until we walk with Jesus into the new world God has provided for us beyond this life of grief and struggle.

Two fine books — one old, one new, both reminding us to hold on during the storms of this wild adventure called life. As for me, I can think of nothing more important than to hold on to Jesus until the roll is called up yonder.


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