Lance Armstrong has finally decided to come clean. After years of passionate denial, the man had backed himself into a corner where he had no other alternative but to come clean. He admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France. Still, I would like to think Armstrong’s confession was not news to most Americans. Many of us have long suspected that Lance was on the juice, yet we cheered every time he won. After all, he is one of us. He is a winner, and we love him.
So, instead of self pity and isolation, poor Lance has embarked on an apology and reconciliation tour, to repair his tattered image. No doubt, this must be the toughest time in his life. However, shameful this might appears, I Applaud him, and I pray for him. I just wish he had done this sooner. My only hope is he will use this experience to turn his life over to the true and living God. Because even though, his actions were despicable and disgraceful, he is not different from anyone of us. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Roman 3:23).
Sin is the reason Lance Armstrong cheated, and sin is the reason Jesus died. There is a way out for all of us (sinners). Jesus says, “I am the Way the truth and the Life. No one come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Further, Jesus also directs us to, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
It is a fact that lightening travels the path of least resistance. Similarly, it is not a secret that humans like to get things the easy way. Like many of us, Lance Armstrong chose the wide gate and the broad way. It brought him much success, fame and fortune, but in the end all was for naught.
At a Dodger Stadium news conference on Tuesday December 11. 2012 , the Los Angeles Dodgers introduced their newly acquired $147 million Baseball pitching star, Zack Greinke to the news media. Majority owner, Magic Johnson was asked whether money was no object with the Dodgers. He responded with four words, “We want to win”.
Everybody wants to be a winner. Winning is everything in the secular world, especially in sports and athletics. It is not enough to compete. One has to win, and win now! Otherwise, you are deemed a loser, and since no one wants to be a loser, the pressure of winning becomes greater.
Unfortunately, not everybody can be a winner. There is only one spot on the podium for the winner, so some of us have to settle for the unpopular also ran position.
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. Instead, let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. . . Hebrews 12:1-2
However, unlike the secular world, everyone can be a winner in Christ and in the Christian world. In this sacred world, the race is not awarded to the swift nor the battle to the strong. This race is a marathon, and the winners are those who run with patience and endure to the end. There is no controversy in the Christian race. No doping scandal and no false start. Everyone is on equal footing.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10
There is no so-called superstar in the Christian race, and there is no mention of judges or referees. There is only one Judge–the righteous JUDGE and He cannot be bought. He does not take a bribe. He calls the race as He sees it. It does not matter how popular you are, and how long you have been running. He does not curry-favor.
Here is how a winner in the Christian world sounds at the end of his race:
I have fought the good fight, and I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing”. 2 Timothy 4.