I am not a cyclist or a fan of the Tour de France. But I have always been impressed with Lance Armstrong. His mind-boggling record of 7 Tour de France titles combined with his victorious fight against testicular cancer and his charitable support of cancer research earned my respect.
And now it seems he cheated.
Or did he?
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says yes. He says no. This of course has been a hot topic of debate for years. The reason it suddenly became news is because Mr. Armstrong has now dropped out of the fight to clear his name. He still says he’s innocent, but that he is no longer interested in carrying on the struggle.
I have no idea if he cheated or not, but I must say this seems like an odd decision for a man who is known for his endurance.
And it begs the question: is it ever right to forfeit the struggle for truth? Mr. Armstrong says he’s tired of fighting. I get that. But still, doesn’t the truth deserve every ounce of our strength? If it really does set us free (John 8:32), shouldn’t we give its defense everything we have? If we go down, shouldn’t we go down swinging?
As Christians, we swore an allegiance to the truth when we accepted Christ. We promised to believe it, speak it, share it and defend it. And against gigantic odds. The majority of people in the world are aligned against the truth. So yes, we will get tired and feel beaten down at times. The thought of surrendering will tantalize and hypnotize and threaten to paralyze us in our weak moments. But the struggle must go on.
Let the apostle Paul be our example. If ever a guy felt like quitting, surely he must have. The list of hardships he faced in his struggle for the truth is found in 2 Corinthians 11:23-29. I can’t read it without cringing.
But Paul never gave up. He fought the good fight. He finished the race. He remained faithful to the very end. (2 Timothy 4:7)
People will have their opinions about Lance Armstrong. I truly hope he’s innocent. Win or lose, I only wish he had hung in there long enough to reach one more finish line.
For further reflection read Proverbs 12:19 and 23:23.