Championship Spirit/Stewardship of Talent
82“I’ve made my way steadily and it’s better for me to keep making progress. It’s better for me if I earn things myself.” Dan Fleeman, Winner of Tour of Pyrenees, historically a stepping stone to Grand Tour teams
It’s refreshing to read this developing champion’s quote when questioned about expectations to advance to a major pro squad. He discusses earning the right to advancement rather than being entitled to it. One of the challenges of the current class of Espoir are tendencies toward instant gratification problematic of 83Generation Y. As a group, Millennials are impatient with nose to the grindstone – a process to gain prizes, learning to deserve laurels, earning on the way to entitlement. This blatant quality easily distinguishes who will endure on the hard road of champion cycling.
Even with the effort, only a few sift through for greatness; yet without the plodding work ethic, no chance exists. There are no slackers among the result makers of Grand Tours. No GC rider is claiming rights to be there…just because.
It’s like the tension on the chain – adjusting it to work efficiently is calculated to be as close to zero chain slack as possible but never in tension. Too much slack leads to shock load, too much tension leads to loss of momentum. Often by the time a rider earns the right to wear yellow, the difficulty of advancement has tightened drive into gratitude. These riders have become great stewards of their ability – meaning they’ve been graced with something extraordinary that they’ve also worked extraordinarily. Their tension is at zero slack with little shock when fast accelerations come, and expectations keep moving forward.
This mindset is a spiritual quality that illustrates the tension between God’s grace – unmerited favor – and our free will about it. Champions invest successfully on what wasn’t earned but freely given – their talent – yet earn the right to showcase that God-given talent.
Prayer for Stewardship
“You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.” James 2:18
“Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment.” 84Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30
We confess we put less in the coffer than we expect as a dividend. We pray to be faithful with our abilities, knowing our reward is related to a belief shown by doing.
Ponder Are my efforts as elevated as my expectations? Affirm I give at least as much as I’ve been given. Watch a champion act like a well-adjusted chain worked hard in propulsion.
82“Fleeman follows in Bernhard Kohl’s Footsteps,” Tuesday 12th August 2008 by Lionel Birnie www.cyclingweekly.co.uk
83Conversations with Robert Stock, business analyst for corporate hiring and job satisfaction trends. Mr. Stock has conducted studies on The Millennials, also known as Generation Y born 1980-1994 – the current class that makes up Under-25 racing as of 2008 until 2018.
84The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson