Winning

Songs of Victory

18“Me, a monstre sacré?[holy terror] If I had to describe myself, I would use the word champion.” Jeannie Longo, One of the Heroes

The winning-est cyclist of all time

 

Holy and champion is appropriate in the same sentence. The Bible says that victory comes from God. Read that again. Victory does not come from our effort alone. This is a hard doctrine unless you have the heart of a lion. Lions know when to attack and when not. They understand the hierarchy of the jungle. There can be only one.

This is a hard doctrine. This means that even a cheater who wins is allowed to win ultimately by God. The drug may have helped but it was God’s ultimate decision. God did not cause the victory but allowed it. Even a cheater has to win the race without crashing, puncturing, bonking, and by riding smart with all the other elements in place. God could intervene but may not, and the victory is permitted. Why? Perhaps to show God’s goodness even to the undeserving. Perhaps to bless even the soul of a cheater. Perhaps to force systemic changes and do a better job of doping control or a culture that encourages it. Perhaps to humble even clean competitors. This is a hard doctrine, and its truth cuts like a claw.

Good guys do not always win; bad guys sometimes do. This is a concept of grace which is not human. It’s a divine concept. The sooner you grasp this hard doctrine and pray for God’s help to win, the more you will be shown and given in order to win. The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. This is the goodness of God.

There is a reckoning but we may not see it right away. There is a paradox in victory that includes both God’s help AND man’s effort. This is a crisis of faith that is exposed clearly in competition. The shepherd boy David who became a king was both a loser AND a victor. His song of victory mentions his weakness AND God’s strength in achieving victory:

 

You have given me your shield of victory; Your help has made me great…I did not stop until they were conquered…You gave me victory…You give great victories.” 192 Samuel 22

Prayer for God’s Help

We confess our discomfort with the idea of dependence in a supreme being that we must believe is good. We pray for faith for this premise so that we can see God at work and trust God to bring victories.

 

Ponder Do I feel eased or frustrated that winning isn’t just up to me? Affirm I believe God is good and wants me to be victorious. Watch for supernatural cooperation when you ask for God’s help.

18“The Unretiring Jeannie Longo,” by Samuel Abt published June 6, 1992 by International Herald Tribune. My support and admiration of Jeannie Longo is unrelenting. She and her husband-coach, Patrice Ciprelli, were generous, informative, and friendly to me during and at races in France and America.

19The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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