I've been following NASCAR on and off for the last 8 or 9 years. I get really into it when team sports are lacking, then I really lose interest when football season returns. However, one driver I've always watched and admired is Jeff Gordon. Although disliked by many fans because he is from California and not North Carolina, Tennessee, or Georgia and his last name is not Earnhardt, Petty, or Waltrip, he has consistently been one of the best drivers on the tour for a number of years. Another reason I've admired him is that he has been open about his faith in Jesus Christ and has used his celebrity status to share his testimony with others.
An interesting thing to note, though, about Jeff Gordon is that he finished 2nd in the points standings last season and is first in this season's point standings despite not having a win since the 2007 season. That means that while he has not been the best driver in any one race in over 18 months, he has consistently been ONE OF THE BEST drivers throught that time.
In Hebrews 12, the writer comes off of a list of people in chapter 11 who displayed great faith in God. He says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Perseverence isn't about being the best on one day. It is about consistently being very good. The whole idea of Methodism is that we are to be methodical in our approach to our faith. Anybody can have a mountain-top experience and be a one-day champion for a short period of time, but the Christian life is about consistency. Let's pray that we have that consistency to run the race so as to with the prize, every day of our lives.