On holiday recently in France, I was lucky to be able to stand and watch the Tour de France ride through a local town. The wait had been a long one and the day very hot. As I stood by the roadside with many other people, enjoying watching the smaller children gathering the many free gifts thrown out by the cavalcade of businesses that always precedes the Tour, I thought of the way that all the cycle riders were having to travel such a long distance across tar macadam roads in that heat.
Suddenly, the air was filled with helicopter noise and the road with official cars and motorcyclists bearing cameras, behind them came the cyclists themselves, travelling so fast that it was hard to see and recognise individuals; but there was one thing that stuck in my mind, the absolute determination and concentration on the faces of those many riders. The image was a strong one and brought into my mind some words written by the Apostle Paul, I remembered them as “Forgetting those things which are behind I reach forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the call of God in Jesus Christ”. Philippians 3:13 – 14
The riders on the Tour de France were aiming to get to the finish line first. The next day they would be back on another road to another finish line, but Paul was telling the Christians in Philippi and us reading his words today that there is in the future for us all a much greater and more precious prize. Stay reading, I will be back!!