I was listening to the a Washington Nationals game on the radio a while back, and the announcers were talking about the pitcher for the opposing Florida Marlins, Jose Fernandez, an All-Star this year and an ace hurler. They were talking about his coolness under pressure and how he had tried to defect from Cuba three times before he succeeded on the fourth try. The first time he was thirteen, and was sent to prison for several months with adults. During the successful attempt, his mother fell off the boat taking them to freedom. Sixteen years old, he jumped in and saved her. They made it to Mexico and then to the United States where they stayed. Fernandez’s unlikly progress to becoming a major league pitcher was chronicled in an article that appeared in the Miami Herald: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/07/3327810/miami-marlins-young-phenom-jose.html
I admire Fernandez’s courage, persistence and energy. Paul wrote of the same qualities a Christian should evidence in Hebrews 1:1-3: 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Amen and amen.