La passion du Tour

As a fourteen year old kid Cadel Evans began cycling competitively. He started out on mountain bikes before moving over to road racing and yesterday at the age of thirty-four he cemented his legacy in cycling history by becoming the first Australian to win the Tour de France. By his own admission it has completed his career. After three weeks of intense racing he won the world’s most famous bike race by ninety-four seconds.

For me this year’s tour will remain memorable for a few reasons:

1) Horrendous crashes in the first week of racing – who could forget Johnny “barbed-wire” Hoogerland’s courage, fortitude and forgiveness after being run off the road by a media car?

2) The apparent “cleanliness” of the riders – only ONE failed drug test (so far).

3) The inability of any rider to really leave the others behind – making a much more exciting and absorbing contest –  we were guessing right to the end.

However my recurring thoughts are tending to centre around the sheer passion and commitment of the riders. The effort alone by each man is staggering during this prestigious event – but the disciplined mentality that perpetually seems to fuel these athletes is perhaps more impressive. Let’s take Evans for example.

For twenty years he has pursued the yellow jersey. He has punished his body and bent his will to the task of achieving success. No area of his life will have escaped this dream. Diet; lifestyle; friends; family; home; familiarity; comfort. He has in some measure made sacrifices in all these areas in order to obtain that which he prizes most highly. Year after year he has endured many obstacles, overcoming misfortune and injury along the way – and he did it all for ninety-four seconds. Cadel could teach me a lot about passion.

At times I truly do admire the laser-like focus and ferocious resolve he has applied to attaining his goals. At other times I pity him for his imbalanced and blinkered lifestyle. What I do know is that I cannot scorn him. Like him and like you, I am seeking fulfilment.

Finding something that can ignite all the passion that lies within is a popular pursuit. Who isn’t looking for life-meaning and purpose? People continue to pour out their energies and put their search for significance in to any and everything.

The need to be first; fastest; youngest; brightest; richest or most famous. It seems the comparison is always with other people

However, like Cadel, they will find that all these things will soon fade (because people do) and the significance they have brought fades with them. Records get dusty or broken.

But what if there was something that will not only truly ignite and awaken human passion, but will also sustain and perfect it? Isn’t that what lies behind all this striving?

The truth is that there is nothing that will do this for us – but there is a SOMEONE.

Someone so great, pure, loving and sacrificial that He eclipses all thoughts of comparison. Someone so vast, holy, beautiful and majestic that He completely consumes hearts and minds. Someone so good, wise, righteous and just that he demands our worship.

He is eternal. He will not fade. He is our only true satisfaction and our only true salvation.

His name is Jesus and I ……..(how would you finish this sentence?).

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