Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I will give you rest

As I've said previously, the Tour de France is the most grueling bike race, and arguably the most grueling sporting event in the world, period! The last couple of days have seperated the 'contenders' from the 'pretenders' as they entered the Pyrenean Mountains with gradients of 10% stretching for up to 11 miles. That is, at least in my mind, death by bicycle!! It is uncanny and herculean the way these men drag their bodies over the mountains at speeds that approach 15 - 16 miles an hour while ascending to over 2000 meters (the average recreational biker probably rides around 11 miles an hour on flat roads). But even the organizers of this 'inhuman' race know that everyone has limits.


After scaling the category 1 climbs of the Col d' Aspin and the Col d' Peyresourde on Sunday, they proceeded to scale the highest peak in the Pyrenees on Monday known as the Col du Tourmalet (beyond category). As if that wasn't enough, the race concluded on another beyond category peak called Hautacam. Some of the riders just barely made it to the summit. Your body screams at you to stop as it gasps for every breath. You feel as if you've hit a wall as your mind fantasizes about death (which, at the moment would seem less painful). The anguish is almost unbearable. And so the Tour organizers declared Today a rest day. No riding whatsoever. The bikers are getting some well earned and well deserved rest, while tending to their sore bodies and injuries sustained in the inevitable crashes that are bound to occur in this highly esteemed race for the greatest crown in cycling.

I believe that God creates opportunities for us to rest in Him after we've faced grueling circumstances. As we run the greatest race that we will ever run, we set our sights on the crown laid before us. In the most difficult of moments, that might be all that sustains us. Life can often be like the Tour de France. As you reach a flat section of the road of life, you sigh with relief, feeling like you couldn't deal with one more difficulty, then you look up and discover that it was a false flat, the gradient gets even steeper up ahead. God knows that you can do it. If you listen carefully, you'll hear His gentle encouragement urging you along, reassuring you that rest is at the end of the road. I listened to the in-car communication with Christian Van de Velde (the highest placed American rider) and it reminded me so much of how God encourages us when we feel like we've got nothing left. So my encouragement to you today is to remember that no matter how difficult the road may seem right now, it will come to an end, and there is rest for you in the loving arms of the Master of our destiny.

3 comments:

Gapper said...

Haste the day...

Joey said...

Love the TdF illustrations!!

Joseph said...

Hear, hear Gapper!!!

Joey, I'll take any opportunity to learn from one of my favorite sports. :)