After missing the Yellow jersey by 1 second on not 1, but 3 consecutive stages of the 2015 Tour de France, Tony Martin delivered . . . and with such panache!
The stage was the longest of this year’s Tour @ 221 km—12 of which were over cobblestones. With 11 km to go he flatted and borrowed his teammate’s bike. With 3 km to go he attacked and somehow held on for the win. Though he’s been cycling’s World Champion, it’s his first time in yellow.
This mental toughness and raw athleticism is what keeps me coming back to the TDF year after year.
Winning the Yellow jersey isn’t the only way get get issued your ‘man card’. In fact, athletics is probably not the best way to get one. But today, Tony earned his card. Coincidentally it was printed on yellow cardstock.
I’m really excited about the prospects of my book being published next year. Enslaved to Saved:The Metaphor of Christ as Our Master has helped me redefine the way I think about the Lord and my relationship with Him. It’s been a great learning experience for me and hopefully the book will help others to do the same. But that is a story for another time.
To a large degree, this whole experience was the result of pursuing a tangent. I had been reading the Epistles of Paul and noted his penchant for referring to himself as the servant of Jesus Christ. What started out to be a little curious digging about proved to be a process of discovery that went on for months and has blessed me in ways I could never have imagined.
This exercise really left me astonished at the degree to which I was able to feel inspired independently of others. My attendance at Church, the Temple and exposure to lessons and talks were certainly inspiring. But I had forgotten how much God can inspire us One on one . Walker Percy described the influence of God on his mind and intellect as if it were a thief sneaking up on him at night when he least expected it:
“I can sometimes feel Him slip into me like a thief with good tools.”
I certainly don’t have his eloquence, but I know the feeling he was trying to describe. It is powerful medicine. To realize that God cares enough to manifest Himself in our hearts and minds as we toil away with our cares and projects–all while the world falls to pieces–is truly disarming. To realize that we are more than just a sponge that can only be passively filled by inspiration from others is liberating. To have God give us our very own strokes of genius, discovery and understanding is to be inspired in a way that is very special indeed.
Such strokes of brilliance come at a price that anyone can afford, but we often simply fail to ask for it. Brigham Young said “we live far below our privileges” when it comes to accessing the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He patiently waits to be invited into the discussion that is going on in our mind. Perhaps taking some time to pursue the occasional tangent may cause you to open a door only to find that the Lord was standing outside knocking without you realizing it. It’s something we really ought to do more often.