One of the hallmarks of greatness in professional sports is consistency. When I think about consistency in sports, I think about Cal Ripken and his iron man streak of 2,632 consecutive games played over a 17-year period. To be able to perform at a high level, let alone stay healthy, for such a lengthy period of time made Ripken one of the most admired athletes of his generation. Not only did he surpass Lou Gehrig’s seemingly unapproachable record of 2,130 consecutive games, he set a standard for consistency that raised the bar for athletes everywhere—not only in baseball. The longevity of the streak was remarkable all by itself, but the level of excellence and consistency that it displayed was the real eye-opener. To be able to play for 17 years without missing a game—or being benched—show a commitment to his craft that today continues to stagger the mind. When we think of consistency in relationship to our God, we use a different word for it. We speak of God’s faithfulness. And as we approach New Year’s Day, it is both appropriate and even necessary that we reflect on this past year and how God’s faithfulness has been displayed in our lives. His faithfulness is displayed in many different ways in the Scriptures, including:
  • In God’s power and creation. “Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds” (Psalm 36:5).
  • In God’s supply and provision. “Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” (Psalm 37:3).
  • In God’s mercies to us. “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 89:1).
That last verse is important, not only because it points us to the extravagant mercy our God has lavished on us, but also because it reminds us that His mercies are not for us alone. They are for others as well. So, not only does the psalmist celebrate God’s faithful mercies, he also declares them to others so that they might know this God of power, provision, and mercy as well. This God is utterly faithful to us, even when we are not faithful to Him. As we turn the page on the calendar and step into 2013, may I urge you to feed on His faithfulness—and to feed others with it as well. And from all of us here at Sports Spectrum, “Happy New Year!”