One great athlete, who will probably be seen as the best of all time in his sport, responded to an interview's question about a great athlete in another sport; “what I admire most is his consistency”. The statement caused me to pause. What about his success? What about his dedication and discipline? What about ability to stand up under pressure? These questions and more took second place from a champion's perspective.
In every life, situation, and decision, there is the moment that comes after the choice. What now? Do I pursue my goal even when it is not convenient? Am I willing to practice when every fiber in my body and soul is begging me to do something else? Do I really want to win?
I find that the best models in life, great heroes and champions, share a common thread. The conviction, belief, and mantras are consistent from inside to out, heart to mind, public to private. I am quite sure that they struggle with similar fears, uncertainties, and doubts. Even in confidence, the “if” remains as a niggling question. Yet, questions and doubts do not determine the outcome. As hard and difficult as they may be, as insidious as they are in our lives, they are at best distractions. It is the conviction of our heart that tells the story of the truth we embrace. Our actions form an outline that presents our values and priorities to those around us. The consistency in our lives quietly convicts the observer.
There are examples all around us. Look behind the scenes at anyone at the top of his or her “game”. The field of endeavor is secondary; the consistency in their lives will show if they have prevailed over time. When you read “that the apostles were on their way, continuing to witness and spread the Message of God's salvation, preaching in every Samaritan town they passed through on their return to Jerusalem,” (Acts 8.25) know that they were getting on with the heart of living. It is in consistency that we find our souls.
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