I’m Tired Of Second Place (out of two)

June 16, 2011

This past Saturday I was finishing the backstretch of my bike ride (corner of Highway 36 and Bowman Road) when I noticed another bike rider pulled to the side of the road. He was reading a map. Usually, I don’t need a map when I ride a bike. The farthest I ever travel around here is 25 miles, which just happens to be the ride I was on. Who needs a map for that? That was a clue as to what kind of rider I was about to meet.

I’m getting ready for the Whitney hike so I’m riding more than usual. Last week was a particularly strenuous week for me. 75 miles. Yep, one trip to Larry’s and back, two trips out to Highway 36 and back, and my 25 mile loop on Saturday (Benson, Basler, 36 and then back on Bowman). I was probably engaged in some heady self-congratulatory thoughts as I stopped to talk with rider.

I asked him what his ride was like. He had started out on Highway 299 and encountered a few rain drops so he thought he’d head in a different direction. He left Redding, traveled to Platina and was now sitting on my corner trying to decide where to go next. I asked how far he had traveled. He checked his odometer and it was sitting on 94 miles. 94 miles and it was only 1 p.m. He had another 30 miles just to get back to his driveway. So much for my grand 75 mile week. He did that before his morning Pop Tart. He was complaining that he had only 6,700 feet of vertical for the day. This was well short of his 10,000 foot minimum daily requirement.

What the point? In my life, and probably yours, there is always someone who does what I try to do better. Whether it’s riding a bike or writing a blog, someone can do it better. Three thoughts: first, we’re loved by God with an everlasting love, Je 31:3. Just as we love our children no matter how they perform, so our heavenly Father loves us.

Second, we’re fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14). We’ve been designed by the Perfect Designer for the tasks he has called us to. Additionally, we have a unique gift-set given to us by the Holy Spirit. We’re specialized parts for specialized roles. We can do things no one else can do. We’re not called to finish first but to be faithful.

We struggle with these two first two points. It doesn’t matter so much that someone is a more powerful bike rider. It matters much more when others have gifts in any form that we value or want. When we don’t take God’s love and our unique role by faith, we compensate. This is where things get ugly. We can incessantly pat ourselves on the back while never missing an opportunity to help those around me see the failings of someone else. Our energy and opportunities are wasted as we try to convince others that we’re really the better bike riders. Instead of being an integral part of the Kingdom we become the clogged fuel filter that brings the whole enterprise to a momentary halt.

Third, since we are who we are totally by God’s grace we live for God’s glory. He’s our loving Source who cares for us and empowers our work. Our gaze is outward, not inward. We don’t want to be the vacuum that sucks everything to ourselves; we want to be the light that is always trained on Jesus. We rest in who we are while we continuously point others to the Savior. It really isn’t about me; it is about him.


One Response to “I’m Tired Of Second Place (out of two)”

  1. denise Says:


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