Lance Armstrong and Finish Lines.

(I’m writing this standing in line at the dinning hall.)

Last week I was glued to the TV following the Tour Down Under, cycling’s first premier stage race of the season. For six days, professional cyclists hit the road cruising at ridiculous speeds in a ridiculous heat. Over the six days of racing, over 300,000 fans lined the streets to watch. All because the greatest of all time was making his return debut in South Australia. Lance Armstrong was in the saddle again. His first race in over three years let the world know he was still the same Lance. Finishing just forty seconds behind the leader, Lance was quoted as saying this was the best he’d ever felt in January.

Look out peloton.

But, it got me to thinking. I was climbing this particulary steep hill on Saturday and my legs were screaming and I just wanted to cruise the rest of the way up. Then the thought struck, “What if Lance is at the top of that hill and all I had to say for myself was I got tired?” Or what if I reach the finish line and he’s standing right there, would I be able to tell him I left it all on the course? That I gave everything I could give? That when everyone else cracked, I found another level?

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

A great cloud of witnesses. All gathered in the arena. Cheering. Screaming. Urging us on. Challenging us to finish the race and fight the good fight.

Imagine the great heroes of our faith waiting at the finish line. Paul. Peter. James. Mathew. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All gathered in one place, cheering for us.

It makes me wonder what I will say at the finish line. Will I leave it all on the course? Will I finish worthy of standing in their midst? Will I finish, holding nothing back? Or will there be things left unsaid, battles not fought, and victories not won? Will my race be worthy of the one I call my Savior?

I don’t know about you, but I want to finish the race knowing I wasted every last ounce of strength so I might be counted worthy.

I wonder what it might be like to collapse every night utterly exhausted knowing that I rode farther and loved harder than anyone else.

So, my challenge is, how will you finish?

Drink Coffee. Ride a bike. Party Hard. Love Harder.