Are You Riding The Tour de France?
If you race, you’re going to lose – get used to it.
In next month’s Tour de France, 198 elite cyclists will leave the starting line. After 21 days and more than 2,000 miles of racing, one man will wear the winner’s yellow jersey. The other 197, the best riders in the world, will lose. And this year’s winner likely lost last year, or he’ll lose next year.
So maybe you win occasionally – good for you. But mostly, you and I (especially me!) will travel slower than somebody else.
You can do whatever it takes to get there first. Doesn’t really matter, because somewhere there’s still someone who’s faster. Fastest fish in your small pond still isn’t the fastest fish.
Or you can quit, hide from losing by dropping out, maybe join a slower group. You’re just fooling yourself, of course.
We do it in business, in relationships, in school…act like it’s a race we have to win and then get all frustrated when, inevitably, we lose. And we’re going to lose, if losing means not being biggest, fastest, smartest, richest, most powerful. Because we’re none of those things.
Third option: recognize the truth. It’s not a race, it’s a journey best traveled with others. It’s really about progress, improvement, moving down the road, helping and encouraging others.
In the movie GODSPEED, Jerry Schemmel describes his thought process as he trained for and completed the Race Across America: BETTER TODAY THAN YESTERDAY. Not about who wins or who’s better than someone else, not about what others think, but simply getting a little better every day.
You and I will never win. We’ll never be good enough. The Good News? We can quit trying, because Jesus already loves us more than we can imagine. He wants only for us to travel with Him, freely and lightly.
Why approach life like it’s the Tour de France, struggling to race up daunting climbs and screaming out-of-control down twisting, risky descents? Why do that when we know we’ll lose anyway?
Why do that when we’ve invited to cruise the route, enjoy the scenery, take some photos? We can choose to relax a bit, meet new people, visit the shops.
Still gotta ride the course. Jesus didn’t promise easy; He said the journey of faith isn’t a race. Travel His way, and along the way we’ll get a bit stronger, a bit wiser. We’ll have the chance to serve.
We’ll find rest for our souls.