Life, Faith and Urban Farming

The life and happenings of an unconventional pastor and urban farmer living in the city with a family of five.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Live Strong?

I wear a live strong bracelet, you know one of those yellow rubber bracelets that supports Lance Armstrong's organization that helps people with cancer. Today I watched Lance completely crush most of his competition on a major mountain climb in the French Alps. There's no one in cycling that rides like Lance Armstrong, he can climb and time trial in a way that crushes all the competition. Most climbers can't time trial well and most time trialists can't climb very well, he does both better than anyone. He genetically created for endurance sports and he is more determined and disciplined than any of his competition. If you ask him, that's how he defeated his cancer too, he put his mind to beating it and he did. For Lance it was all about domination and proving that he could do anything by his own power. I wear this bracelet to support others with cancer who need encouragement to stick it out and keep hope, but part of me also wants to take it off. I don't believe I have the power to defeat anything. Not everybody defeats their disease. Since Lance defeated his cancer and came back to win the Tour De France a record 6 times, I've watched my co-worker's brother in law and my dad's best friend die of cancer. The ironic thing is that these two men seem to have been two of the strongest Christians out there. They believed without a doubt that God had the power to heal their bodies. These two men believed in something far greater than themselves, the believed in the God of the universe and they believed that the God of the universe cared deeply for them and their families. But God did not heal them. I have no answers as to why God wanted Lance to be the greatest bike rider ever, but God did not want two of his most faithful servants to continue life.

I can't blame Lance. He states openly that he doesn't beleive in God. The Christians in his life were abusive people who didn't show the love of God. Lance lives to be the very best that he can be and he also tries to help others who have cancer to defeat the disease like he did. That's admirable.

But I believe in the Almighty God, who humbles the powerful and lifts up the weak, even if after death. In the end the accomplishments of the humble will far out weigh the accomplishments of Lance Armstrong. I'm not saying here that we shouldn't fight like crazy and do everything we can to live if and when we get sick, but I am saying that in the end God sees a much bigger picture than the one we see. We should "live strong," but we should also live humbly, knowing that all of our accomplishments are because the creator has allowed them to happen. When we live humbly the glory in the end is not our own, but is all in Jesus Christ. The two funerals that I attended over the past few years were for men who died too young, but they were bold statements that gave glory to Jesus Christ. Someday hopefully Lance will come to see that his glory is greatly paled by the glory of the Almighty.

1 comment:

Terry L. Mann said...

John,

One thing Lance's life shows full well, is that our lives impact the lives of those who have not embraced Christ yet. Our lives, like the abusive lives of the "Christians" Lance had contact with, have impact.

Terry