Tour de Life
I have been meaning to share this for a very long time now, but for various reasons didn’t until now. I remember one day thinking on the following verse and getting a neat analogy to go along with it (well at least I think it’s neat).
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.—2 Timothy 4:7
The Tour de France is the most famous and prestigious road bicycle race in the world, but it wasn’t until recently when Lance Armstrong was going for his 7th straight win, that I really took an interest in the race. I was simply amazed at how well he had done and what he had achieved. Now picture yourself as Lance Armstrong (or any other rider for that matter) in a race similar to the Tour de France, we’ll call it the “Tour de Life”. You know right off the bat it’s not going to be easy; it’ll be long, winding and even have it’s ups and downs. Will you fight the good fight? Will you finish the race? and Will you keep the faith?
The start of the race is usually pretty exciting and is usually where you get yourself in a favourable position and break away from the pack (hopefully in first place or close to it). Similarly, we need to build a solid foundation in God’s word early in our lives as it certainly will help us in the long run. While it certainly doesn’t mean the end of the race if we aren’t, it sure is beneficial.
On that note, we have to remember that it’s not all smooth sailing from there. The race undoubtedly will have it’s ups, downs, twists and turns. In the Tour de France there are hills to climb and as much as those riders make it look easy, we know it isn’t. In our lives we too have those moments where we have a mountain to climb. In fact many times we either start going up, but give up half way or we decide not to go up at all. God wants us to make it over those mountains. He wants us to persevere when the going gets tough. One of the things I like to keep in mind, is what’s on the other side of the mountain. Sure you have to climb, but going down is the nice part. That’s when God gives you rest. The riders get a little break from pedalling and so do you. But what’s this about twists and turns?
The twists and turns are those unexpected things or setbacks that happen in the race. You might fall or crash and as such lose ground or motivation. Those are bound to happen, but what should you do when they occur? Get up, dust yourself off and keep going. If you give up then you aren’t going to finish the race. The devil likes to throw lots of twists and turns along the way to slowly eat away at our motivation, till we throw in the towel and give up. Don’t let him do that!
Ok, so now you say, “What if I’ve already started to lose motivation?” Lets look back at this in terms of the Tour de France (or any sport for that matter). Your teammates or supporters are there for a reason. They are there to encourage you, to cheer you on, to help bring up your morale and motivate you. I like to think of those people as my family, friends, pastor, etc. You can always talk to them about what you are going through and they will listen and if they can, offer words of encouragement, pray for you and even help you. Never be afraid to ask for help!
Water! I can’t possibly forget about water. We need it! Those riders aren’t going to make it very far without something to give them energy. Yes, I know there are various foods or energy drinks that will help, but the point is that we need something in our body to give us the energy we need. As a Christian, our energy is the Word of God. It is what will keep us going when the mountain comes and when we encounter the twists and turns. It will keep us from giving into the road blocks and temptations the devil puts in our way. It will give us that boost we need to keep on going when we feel like giving up. It is our life!
Another thing we have to remember is that, the ability to do the things that we do comes from God. He created us and he is our strength. Without Him we are nothing. We need to have faith that no matter what situation we are in, no matter how bad or how difficult, He can bring us through it. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”. Also Psalm 25:3 says, “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse”. So put your trust in Him.
At the end of the race is the prize. For the riders of the Tour de France they win prize money. For the Christian, at the end of the race is God’s promise of eternal life in Heaven with our Lord and Saviour. What more could we ask for? There is no greater prize than that. So once again I ask, are you willing to fight the good fight? Are you willing to finish the race? Will you keep the faith?
Peace and God bless.