Winning Every Time
Audience of One
15“When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” Eric Liddell, Olympic Champion
Winning is a vulnerable experience. It puts you in the spotlight for everyone to see – good and bad all at once. There is a weight to glory borne by all winners. It increases pressure upon you adding external opinion or approval upon internal desire. Great performers don’t have an absence of fear but instead cultivate absolute vulnerability. You can totally release the weight of performance by focusing on a new concept of winning.
Several elements come into play to release performance and lighten the weight of glory. Fear of exposure flees if you compete for an audience of One. By focusing on God’s purposes for you in cycling, you harness His pleasure as a force that guides, hones, sustains, and loves you through every peak and valley of the athletic journey. Losing the burden of approval of others also releases results-orientation so you can maintain presence in the process. Enjoying what each athletic experience brings sets you up to win. When expectations are geared toward comparing yourself against what you are capable of on the day, you can “win” each ride. The only One you let down if you fail is God and probably yourself. But if you’ve known you’ve left everything out on the road, you walk away from the race a winner every time. This frees you to do what champions do – focusing on the activity of the sport instead of the consequence of the competition.
Likewise, being on a stellar team or following a great leader doesn’t cover up shoddy work. Working at your best no matter who is watching always ensures a win. An omnipresent God sees what others don’t see and this raises your standard and leads to reward, irrespective of result.
Prayer for 16Total Release Performance
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive…from the Lord as a reward…there is no favoritism.” 17Colossians 3:23-25
We confess we think about everybody’s approval but what God wants and has created us to do. We ask for supernatural affirmation that we’re on the right road. We ask that our need for approval take a backseat to a desire to give ourselves completely to what God shows us is ours to do.
Ponder Do I set up a win for myself every time I ride? Affirm I know that finishing first starts in my head and that I will win even in training today. Watch the results rack up when you can totally release.
15Eric Liddell’s thoughts on the higher purposes of his sport brought him complete peace and powerful motivation to overcome great odds for Olympic glory. Eric’s feeling was that whatever glory he received by doing what he was created to do would reflect God’s glory – and because of this higher purpose, He could feel God’s pleasure when he competed. It’s sad to me that I know of no similar quote by a cyclist although I’ve known a few who’ve felt this way. Perhaps this book will call out a generation of cyclists like Liddell. For more on Liddell, there are a number of biographies, some published works by Eric himself, and the movie- Chariots of Fire written by Colin Welland and directed by Hugh Hudson, 1981.
16The concepts of this daily were first expressed in Total Release Performance by Wes Neal published by Cross Training Copyright © 1998 by Wes Neal. This is a small booklet that can be ordered online http://www.thejesusfirstteam.com
17The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society