As athletes we are always being driven by something; a faster time, a longer cycling route, or beating your biking buddies in a sprint. When things get more serious it may be a multi-stage cycling event victory, becoming a professional athlete, and eventually we can be driven towards the ultimate victory in the cycling world like the one we saw in the Tour de France on Sunday. These are fun cycling milestones and good goals to have. However, how often do we see great professional athletes reach their respective milestones only to be still unfulfilled? How often do they then switch what drives them, what inspires them, and what motivates them to money, approval, fame, etc and ultimately destroyed their careers in some way?
We see a pattern develop as some professionals continually switch what drives them as each predecessor is completed or fades and leaves them unfulfilled. Whether it be Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Mike Tyson, Tanya Harding, Michael Vick, etc, etc, etc we can follow the bread crumbs and see in every instance where their success was leaving them unfulfilled in some way. They all strayed off course to do some extra curricular activities because their athletic or cycling success wasn’t enough. Even the greatest successes on earth left them unfulfilled leaving them searching for a new ‘driver.’ And let’s be clear, I’m not leaving it to just professional athletes (although they are the center point of this article). Each of us will find the same patterns within ourselves when we look. We might not have the distractions of fame, or the money to get into as deep of trouble, but we all have our own ‘drivers’ that we continually replace upon successes. These drivers, when not appropriately managed, get us into trouble.
So what drives (inspires) you? Think hard about it. Everyone is driven by something or a combination of ‘somethings.’ It can be different for different areas of your life too. For many people it can be fear, greed, anger, materialism, approval, or recognition. For many cyclists or athletes its recognition, approval, or self esteem. If your a professional athlete it could be greed or materialism. Even some days it could be anger! The bottom line is that we all have and need something that drives us. Without a driver, it is hard to reach high performance. It’s important to have a driver, but we just need to make sure the majority of our drive comes from the right source.
We’ve all been there, a day that just couldn’t get any worse, and all we want to do is jump on the bike saddle for a hard cycling ride, hit the boxing bag relentlessly, or throw some iron around at the gym in anger (all my personal favorites). Anger can be a great driver. We certainly can not ignore the results. It does seem that an angry workout or cycling ride drives some high intensity performances. But as with the other drivers mentioned in this topic, anger and the rest have something in common; they can’t sustain high performance for a lifetime and lasting (eternal) results!
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken…Find rest in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2, 5-6
God is the only driver that sustains! All the others drivers (success, fear, anger, fame, money) can be snuffed out or satisfied in some way shape or form and leave you unfulfilled. When you reach that point of success, now what? When you let out your anger, then what? When you reach that amount of money, what’s next? Having those forces as your primary driver leads to continuous dangerous crossroads where you then have to replace that driver with something else. This is where pro athletes and you and I alike get into trouble. Instead of having to make that decision over and over again, choose God as your driver! God as your driver can never be completed; there is always more of Him to have and more to reach for. You can be filled up every day! It’s like gas in your tank to keep going and going to higher performance levels in your cycling and biking or whatever it be.
“He has made everything beautiful in its own time; also He has put eternity in their heart, yet so that man does not find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
God has set eternity in the hearts of men. What this means is that we can never be fully satisfied with earthly successes, pleasures, or pursuits! Earthly ‘success’ driven by earthly drivers will never satisfy us. Eventually we will feel unfulfilled and move on; searching for that which does. We must stop looking in the wrong places, and make the decision that we will be driven by Christ and fulfilled through Him. In doing so we can do two things. We avoid a long unfulfilling journey for false idols. And we can sustain our drive towards high performance in all that we do knowing that it will satisfy and fulfill our lives!
Ascend Sportswear and our cycling and biking jerseys were created to help remind us what sustains our drive and what truly satisfies us! Our cycling jerseys are not just billboards to share our faith with, but sources of inspiration for the bike rider to feed from. So for the best results, inspire your performance through Christ and leave the false idols in the dust.