Story of the Day for Thursday May 10, 2012
“Get Back on that Pony and Ride”
Consider it a sheer joy, my brothers, whenever you encounter different kinds of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
In the spring of 1987, while turkey-hunting near Sacramento, California, Pat accidentally shot his brother-in-law Greg. The blast from the 12 gauge shotgun sent 60 pellets into Greg’s body. His right lung collapsed, and he lost 65 percent of his blood by the time he reached the hospital.
Greg survived, but, to this day, 40 shotgun pellets remain in his body – five in his liver, five in his heart.
Just nine months earlier, Greg LeMond became the first American to win the Tour de France. Now, his career was over.
Or was it? Determined to ride again, Greg got back on his cycle and started riding. To resume his career, he needed a cycling team that would take him. No American team was interested, so Greg’s father flew to Europe to negotiate with the cycling team’s there.
A European team, cautiously, agreed to take Greg on. And, then, of all things, LeMond was crippled in pain and needed intestinal surgery to repair damage from the shooting accident. Before the surgery, Greg instructed the surgeon to remove his appendix. Afterward, he assured the cycling team that the surgery was an appendectomy. “I didn’t tell them a lie,” LeMond later said in an interview “but I didn’t tell them the absolute truth.”
The final leg of the Tour de France is a fifteen mile time trial. In 1989, Laurent Fignon of France has a commanding 50-second lead going into the final sprint to the finish, and he is the fastest time trial racer in the world.
His nearest competitor won’t even look at Fignon’s split times. He tells his own coaches he doesn’t want to know his own splits. He simply digs deep and delivers a dazzling performance – the fastest speed in the history of the Tour de France.
Fignon lost the Tour de France. A young American with 40 shotgun pellets in his body, ended up with the yellow jersey.
After the shooting accident, would anyone blame Greg LeMond if he gave up competitive racing? Who believed that LeMond could ever race again – let alone regain the title as the world’s greatest cyclist?
Has adversity knocked the wind out of you? Know what you need? You need the patient, healing care of the Surgeon. But, once you stagger to your feet, you need to know that God never intended obstacles to stop you; they’re there to strengthen your resolve. Trials are meant to fuel our fire; to ignite the passion to give our all for God.