Heralded as the greatest cycling Olympics ever, the London 2012 velodrome has become a golden event at least 7 golds and a few other silver and bronze medals for the UK, from speed trials, team sprint, omnium producing Gold medals. Cycling lessons will be written and debated for many years in team strategies and life’s forums I am sure. Watching the interviews of the team trainer works and how his strategies shave produced such a golden team. His comments of breaking down each event and dealing with the little things, then all the little changes amalgamate to make big advances. In their own right these little changes are insignificant yet together in the overall achievement great advance. Changes such as even down to how a cyclist would wash their hands.
Even before the golden advance in the velodrome we began in the last blog to enjoy some of the benefits in lessons from a bicycle seat, looking at Lance Armstrong’s‘ advice in building team. We will now continue without any more introduction looking at some noteworthy thinking and how it affects the life of a Christ follower.
Lance Armstrong outlines practical insights to gain advance for our consideration.
- No matter what the cards are that life deals you, you have to make the most of it.
For all of Lance’s athletic prowess, one thing that he could not control was the fact that he developed testicular cancer. This cancer later spread to his brain and he developed a brain tumour. For a while, it looked as though Lance was losing the battle against cancer. Yet he kept fighting. At the same time, he kept winning. Many people would have given up in those circumstances. Yet, not only did he not give up, he triumphed against adversity, winning races while suffering from cancer.
The bible teaches us that our lives are not about amassing but much more about producing the character of the Son in our lives becoming like the Christ and being sons of God this is our goal, that He might fill all in all. In other words life is about producing what the scriptures call ‘Overcomers’ that we are to overcome rather than duck and avoid life. So many people duck responsibility avoid accountability and even rebuke the challenges, bind them in prayer and cast them out when they have been presented with overcoming opportunities.
We hear many say that they are a transitional generation for example they are a bridge to the generations or racial gaps, what ever gaps really, yet so often when we are presented with the gifts of transition we tend to think that they are evil and from satan, but they are actually gifts to bring transition and cause us to overcome.
- Every race starts with a single rotation of the wheel.
To achieve great things, you have to first achieve the little things. A long-distance race victory doesn’t just happen instantly, it has to begin somewhere and from those many rotations of the wheel, victory followed. Every little press down of the foot to create another rotation of the wheel counts, or you could say every small event makes the big picture work. Someone once said ‘the sea is made of water droplets’, for you and I we only see the sea and push aside the little drops that make it up as we only want or value the big, great, yet the small pushed aside are where life is at really.
For a race that would last days, he would spend all year round training hard and competing in other events. He was known to push himself to extremes in training, more-so than most endurance athletes.
We are encouraged through the scripture to be shrewd and wise taking a view of the culmination of Gods purpose and not to live in the shallows of now only. Is this not the encouragement of “without a vision people are unrestrained (perish)” it is about having a view which demands a long-range. To be expectant of the return of Christ yet plan for the long-term future, it’s the tension of living the ‘now and not yet’ making provision for the long haul and the immediate.
- Do not doubt yourself when others doubt you.
For a large portion of his career, Lance had to put up with doping allegations made against him, many of them made by former team-mates. Some of these allegations could perhaps be attributed to jealously. Being accused of something, particularly by former friends, can be quite upsetting. Much speculation remains on whether or not Lance took performance enhancing drugs, and it’s likely to follow him the rest of his life.
Believe that God has chosen you, empowered you equipped you don’t let others hold you back or their insecurity or control pull down what God has promised. See through Gods view on your life. ‘Enduring for the joy set before’ was the Jesus style of life that is distracting challenge our wills, some times challenges makes us wonder yet there was a joy in Christ of knowing what God wanted of Him the Christ. Don’t take on other people’s feelings, live in the inner life of God.
- Family is important.
Winning is important. But it’s not everything. Despite his hectic training schedule, Lance Armstrong still found time to father five children.
A Family is what God is after, the church is the family of God we must see this as important beyond anything else, to be a family and model a family at every level. To prevent the church becoming organisational and remain as a family that the influence, leadership and stability of the community of God, the church comes from mothers, brothers, fathers and sisters. For this is the governments of the church, there will be the functional apostles, prophets etc., reproducing the very same in a people, yet these functions are fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers but certainly not positional but relationship in a family. It’s a challenge in our day as we cross to business models, which there is nothing wrong with business in its sphere yet the church crosses and finds little true relationships, as we take on cooperate models and realise we are about filling the earth with a person not business strategies we are FAMILY, the FAMILY OF GOD together, the Christ like corporate body, the image and likeness of the Father.
- The determination to succeed.
His drive to become the best was phenomenal. It is all the more incredible to have succeeded so often in an endurance sport. Unlike many other sports, endurance sports are not won with one play, or a short period of maximum effort. They require maximum effort over a long period of time. To win one Tour de France title is incredible, to win it seven times is something else.
Jesus set his ‘face like flint’ he determined his direction, he asked can ‘this cup be taken away’ then concluded ‘not my will but yours be done’ he determined to finish. Paul said ‘I have run the race…I have finished the race‘ determination to get to the end, the old idiom that goes ‘the measure of a person is in how they finish, finishing well’
- Do not get complacent.
Once you have achieved your goals, there’s always the temptation to sit back, relax and enjoy your success. After the first few Tour de France wins, you would forgive Lance for slacking-off training a little. After all, he had accomplished great feats. Yet Lance wasn’t happy with just one or two wins, he wanted more. Even as he was rapidly approaching middle-age and suffering from a terrible disease, he kept going.
You could say of Lance ‘He put the same amount of determination into his last victory as he did his first one’. Don’t let your world become small and just survive, it seems some times that life throws all at us to produce this, but we must not be complacent. Knowing if God who started something ‘will complete it’ as Paul put it can we join in with that same essence and life to complete what we start and not get complacent?
- If you have succeeded at anything, there’s always more to do.
No matter what life throws at you, with the right frame of mind you can overcome. Even when life is cruel. And when all others doubt you, you can go that extra mile and become the best in the world.
We are OVERCOMERS in Christ, who can separate us from the love of God, all these are there so we know and experience that we can be those who get through and accomplish the goal of God for all creation.