The Olympic High Diver
An Olympic gold-medallist
high-diving champion was once plagued with insomnia.
As he tossed and turned upon his bed, he began thinking
deeply about the success he had attained in his field.
He meditated on the gold medals he had won. To his dismay
he realized that his success had not achieved what he
had hoped. The excitement of winning, the photographers,
the medals, and the fame had given him some sense of
pleasure, but the fact of death awaiting him left him
with a complete sense of futility.
He rose from the bed and made his way to his diving
pool. Because of a full moon, he didn’t even bother
to turn the lights on. As he climbed the high diving
board, he watched his shadow cast by the moonlight on
the far wall. The routine had become so commonplace
to him that he could confidently walk that board in
At the end of the diving board, he prepared for the
dive. He placed his feet together, then pulled his arms
up to a horizontal position. As he did so, his eyes
caught a glimpse of his shadow on the far wall. All
he could see was a perfect cross. His mind immediately
raced back to his Sunday school days: “God commends
his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). All of a sudden
he felt unclean as he considered the Commandments he
had broken. The sinless Son of God had come to pay the
penalty for his sins. With tears in his eyes, the great
athlete turned around, slowly made his way down to the
bottom of the diving board, fell to his knees, and yielded
his life to Jesus Christ. He was able to go back to
bed and sleep peacefully.
In the morning he arose with a new sense of forgiveness
of his sins. He made his way back to the pool, but to
his utter astonishment, it was completely empty. The
previous evening, the caretaker had emptied it and was
just beginning the process of refilling.