“I Never Failed a Drug Test!”

by DanWolgemuth on October 26, 2012

What a mess; and what a spotlight into the human soul.

I’m quite sure that I could trace my early entry into road cycling to the powerful story and compelling persona of Lance Armstrong.  His incredible cycling success was amplified by his recovery from cancer.  Both produced a platform for athletics and charity.  Lance Armstrong became an unmistakable star; the AP Athlete of the Year for 2002, ‘03, ‘04 and 2005.  Stunning.

Yet, the “feel good” story has long been chased by allegations of cheating; clouds have often accompanied what should have been unconfined sunshine.

Millions of words have been written and thousands of hours of interviews have been conducted which now distill in my soul in two uncomfortable and personally convicting observations.

1) “I never failed a drug test” is not an answer to the question, “Did you cheat?” 

I’m afraid that the light produced by this perspective splashes across some dark recesses in my own life.  Are there behaviors, or dare I say, attitudes, that lurk in the undiscovered nooks of my soul that remain undetected?  Is there poison in the closet while there’s a banquet on the table?  What am I smug about simply because the testing hasn’t caught up with reality?

The real question remains, “Am I cheating?”

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 2:5 ESV)

Have this mind.  Don’t simply act like Jesus; be like Jesus.

It isn’t enough to pass the drug test.

“I didn’t get a ticket” isn’t the answer to the question, “Were you speeding?”

2) “This was an era of cheating; in fact, all of the top competitors cheated.”

Well almost everyone was cheating.  The poor guys that finished at the bottom of the heap, they weren’t cheating.  Often they weren’t considered good enough to cheat.  Their teams and teammates didn’t take them seriously, so they didn’t get their slice of the thousands of dollars and covert drug boosts that would have pushed them to greatness.  Or maybe they just refused.  Maybe they said yes to obscurity with integrity.

Finishing last, but clean, doesn’t get you multi-million dollar endorsement deals.  Not one watt of the public spotlight shines on those who performed honorably, but non-competitively.

Winning, and championships, and celebrity, and power, and podiums confront our integrity and honesty in a way that traces its roots to the Garden of Eden.  “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:4-5 ESV)

My rationale for decision making is often produced by the velocity of the traffic around me.  I wonder if my interpretation of truth, and right, and good… and dare I say biblical, are molded by words like “everyone?”

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)

Finishing first doesn’t mean finishing best.

And so, before I pick up a stone and aim it at the previously yellow-jerseyed Lance Armstrong I have some heavy lifting to do; some soul searching to undertake; some questions to pose.

Do you?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sonia October 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Very insightful indeed.. thank you! I’m reading this to my women’s group this Sat. am.


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