“Now you are the body of Christ, each one of you is a part of it.” — 1 Corinthians 12:27
The Tour de France is one of my favorite sporting events of the year. My love for it started in college when my dad began cycling and doing centuries and double-centuries for fun. This was the height of Lance Armstrong’s success, and le Tour was becoming palatable to the masses. My first summer home from college, every morning at 5 a.m., I was sitting in front of the TV with my dad, watching the Tour. And once I got married, my husband and I would wake early for those three weeks every summer to watch le Tour unfold, live. I don’t cycle much any more, but the Tour de France still holds my attention every summer.
If you’ve never watched, it is a 21-day stage race where the athletes are on their bikes for hours every day, fighting for the yellow jersey that signifies the leader of the Tour. There are many elements to one individual getting the yellow jersey, and sticking with the peloton is their greatest tool. I don’t mean the stationary bike that everyone is buying these days (and hanging their clothes on), I mean the main pack of cyclists that forms during a bike race.
The peloton can make or break a cyclist’s experience in a race. The cyclists are so close together that any wrong move can cause catastrophic crashes. But the benefits far outweigh this risk. If you can stick with the peloton, you’re going to have a great day. You’re going to expend way less energy inside the peloton than outside of it. Everyone in the peloton is guaranteed to go faster, no matter how good they are. The peloton breaks the wind, shares the load, and helps gain momentum. The peloton can save you.
When we think about being in a Christian community, much like in the peloton, we can see the risk. Being close to a lot of people at once is bound to cause a crash — if anyone makes a wrong move, it could take us all out. But if you’re in it, and there’s trust, humility and help, it’s going to propel you further along in your journey than you could do by yourself.
Cyclists in the Tour de France acknowledge their need for the peloton and work hard to keep their place in it so they can succeed. The same goes for finding Christian community. We need people around us going in the same direction toward the same goal. We need these people to get us through adversity, share the load of ministry, prevent us from quitting, and help us to gain momentum.
We have built-in community when we join the body of Christ, we just need to find others going our same direction, and join in their peloton. Do you have community like this? If not, where can you find it? How can you cultivate it?
— Ondi Mejia
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