I have always had heroes in my life. My first was my father, Joe R. Duncan. Then there was Butch Gray, the football star at Mountain View High. Later there was Bill Massey, student body president at the University I attended in Arkansas. When I went into the ministry two other individuals, John Hagan and W.O. Vaught were my heroes. I firmly believe in heroes and stay on the lookout for new ones. One of my
latest additions: dog sled racer Vern Cherneski.
Vern finished the Iditarod, the famous mushers marathon across Alaska. Vern did not win; that honor went to Martin Buser, who completed the course eight days earlier than my hero. Vern lost—came in 63rd out of 63. For his efforts, he received the Red Lantern award, given to the last one to cross the line in each Iditarod race.
So what makes Vern my hero? Finishing, that’s what. For 18 days, through the snow and ice between Anchorage and None with no hope of winning, he gripped the handles of his sled, stared at the tail end of his dogs, and kept mushing. He brought home the Red Lantern—he finished, he refused to quit. I regard that as hero material, don’t you?
The Bible puts it this way, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. Galatians 6:9
So here’s a word of encouragement to all of you faithful Christians—stay the course, finish the race, keep on keeping on. One day you will find laid up for you in eternity the Red Lantern award, which our Lord reserves, not for the FASTEST, but for the