For Such a Time
47“When we had Lance Armstrong, we had a transcendent figure. He was way more than a cyclist, way more than a sports star. He was a rock star and a survivor. He was a once-in-a-generation type of personality.” Gavin Harvey, President of Versus, Cycling Television
You need not win seven Tours de France to influence a generation and be a positive force. However, Lance’s success increased American cycling’s popularity, as well as aided a segment of patients, causes and charities in cancer’s realm.
Beyond popularity and inspiration, profound waves of change are often set off by quiet acts of courage that become public. 48Purim is a Judaic-Christian celebration that honors the decision of Esther, a commoner who became queen, to put her neck on the line to save her people. She didn’t rush into this sacrifice but agonized that her position of privilege was granted for such a time when her influence could be used to benefit an entire kingdom. People were blessed as a result, and the history of the world was altered. Her selection and decision as queen illustrates cooperation between God’s sovereignty and human choice. Supernatural opportunity met human ingenuity and ultimately, obedience. The cost for Esther was potentially her own life, and in choosing well she gained life and legacy for herself and countless others.
Perhaps the best success is ordained so that its influence can orchestrate life-giving activity. One of the greatest gifts of a champion in receiving power is also the greatest challenge to use it for the broadest good. As a champion, this responsibility is thrust upon you. The podium becomes like a lighthouse, like it or not.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand,
and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5:13-15
Prayer for Influence
“Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!” 1 Chronicles 4:10
“An unlucky loser is shunned by all, but everyone loves a winner.” 49Proverbs 14:20
We are glad that success is magnetic. We pray our times and tributes are used for greatest good – thinking of others, loving them and not just loving their adoration. Train us to be worthy of such high callings in cycling.
Ponder Have I come into cycling for such a time that my presence can yield influence? Affirm I am ready for bigger territory. Watch and care for those within your sphere of influence.
47“Cycling’s hope: The sport has hit bottom. Sport is working hard to erase bad image created by drug-using riders,” by Mason Kelley NBCSports.com contributor July 1, 2008
48This historical event is recorded in the book of Esther, part of the canon of Scripture located in the Old Testament.