The Men’s Road Race for cycling was run on the Day One of the Games.
The British cyclist Mark Cavendish was expecting to get a gold. The whole British cycling team was determined to get him into a good position so he could win with a sprint finish. But it just wasn’t to be!
After an early breakaway the British team were left in the front of the peloton, along with other good teams with other good sprint finishers (Australia and Germany). They were behind the leaders, but the whole group could have caught up if they had all worked together, and taken a share of leading that group.
But the rest of the teams decided to leave all the work to the Brits, and it was too much work for four men to do! Because the rest of the best teams in the peloton were not prepared to do their share of the work and risk Cavendish winning, they also sacrificed their own medal hopes. The final winner, Vinokourov of Kazakstan, deserved it, he took a risk and pushed ahead and the glory went to him.
David Millar, one of the British team summed it up quite well, ‘We lost out, but a lot of teams lost out by planning against us. We can’t complain because everyone knew what we were going to do, so it was their job to derail us. Which they did.’
What is God saying through this to his church?
We are all individuals, and part of different churches, but we also are all part of God’s universal church.
Now, here’s the challenge. Do you seek solely your own personal growth and advancement? Or your church’s? Or do you seek growth and advancement for the whole of God’s universal church? Or are you prepared to let others do the work which will in fact mean that everyone loses out in the end?
The Apostle Paul says ‘Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.’ (1 Corinthians 9:24 NRSV). Let’s support each other and run to win, that we may each get the prize that God has for us.
What does this mean in reality, go after the vision God has given you and do everything you can to support those with a greater vision than yours! In the case of churches let us spur each other on and seek to learn and grow from each other. If we are petty or insecure and don’t support each other, then we will all lose out in the end.
Lord Jesus, help us to run to win, and to help others too, both individually and as your church. So that you may be glorified in all we do, in your name, Amen.