Monday, January 28, 2013

Lance and forgiveness

My husband enjoys sports a LOT, and I personally think he likes listening to the banter of sports commentators even more.  Unfortunately hearing grown men argue over uninteresting topics like who did better in last week's game or is Tebow getting played enough...did he make a mistake moving to the NY Giants...drives me crazy.  Now for the past several weeks every conversation is either about this one player who had an online girlfriend who faked her death and he didn't know about it, OR Lance Armstrong

I have to admit the Lance talk did peak my interest a bit.  Who doesn't know Lance?  Seven time Tour de France cyclist superstar...cancer survivor...ex boyfriend of Sheryl Crow.  He's been in the headlines for awhile because it came out that he was accused of doping to give an edge in his competitions.  Why this is coming out now after 7 years is beyond me, but it did.  And for the longest time he blatantly denied it.  He took cocky pictures of himself lounging on his couch supposedly not caring what the rest of the world thought.  And I was pulling for him.  I wanted him to be telling the truth.  I wanted those officials to be wrong and for them to find out he really was that amazing.  That hard core!

Recently he just sat down with Oprah and fessed up that he did in fact lie.  He was cheating and covering it up.  I couldn't stomach the interview.  It made me squirm just thinking about it.  I'm not defending his actions at all, but can you imagine how he's felt for the last few months...years?  He's been carrying around this lie...this career busting HUGE secret around his neck for a long long time. 

He did this dishonorable thing to WIN and then he did WIN and to keep up the charade he continued to dope.  He got all those millions of dollars of endorsements, started the Livestrong foundation...was living the good life thinking no one knew the better and then WHAM!  The truth surfaces.  Then out of sheer fear he thought denying it would help him keep some amount of his dignity, maybe people would believe him.  Apparently his son had been defending him at school.  Telling everyone they were wrong, and that's what finally made him step up and admit his sins.  Now imagine wherever he goes people of course recognize him, but instead of the special recognition and pats on the back he used to receive, he gets stared at and the whole world!  Can you even imagine?

I do this weird thing of putting myself in other people's shoes, it comes easy for me.  I don't know if it helps me to have compassion or makes me less judgemental, but I'm glad I'm wired that way.  What this man did was obviously wrong.  He knew it.  Even if he's not a believer I'm sure he knew cheating and lying was a bad thing.  He's getting publicly punished...which fits the crime since he publicly deceived.  His money, his titles, his company and reputation have all been stripped.  The wages of sin... 

It's so easy to see where others have fallen short and completely screwed up.  It's so easy to sit back and say that would never happen to me, but we all have sinned and are in desperate need of a savior.  As believers the Holy Spirit convicts our hearts and helps us make good decisions, so this type of outcome doesn't happen...but only if we are obedient.  The Lord's provision on the cross doesn't give us a free pass to do what we want, it reminds us that He paid the price...our sins are covered, but I don't want to live like that anymore. 

I'm really praying someone comes along and shares Jesus with Lance.  That he can know that even though he messed up, his life isn't over.  That hopefully he can come to place where he realizes he's a sinner and can give it over and find peace in the knowledge that all things can be made whole...that forgiveness is for everyone.

Be a blessing.

971.  warmer temps this week
972.  birds flying past my window
973.  grace
974.  date night with my honey
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