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Lifting the Veil of Invincibility, by Phil Ware Phil Ware

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Editor's Note: This article was written nearly three years ago. But the events of the past month make this an article worth revisting. I am so thankful that Lance Armstrong was delivered from his cancer and won the Tour de France. What you may not know is that Lance's cancer, originally testicular, spread all over his body and his doctors gave him little or no chance for survival. He had lesions removed from his brain and had a large number (12 or so) of tumors in his lungs close the size of golf balls. While we don't normally re-visit previous articles, I think this is one may be worthy of a little more thought and attention!

    What an amazing blend of power, grace, and determination! Lance Armstrong, from my hometown, has been one of the world’s most dominant bicyclists for the last three or four years. While not as well known a celebrity in the United States, he is recognized and mobbed at every public appearance in Europe.

    Bicycle racing is an immensely physical and grueling sport. Only the best athletes survive its tortuous climbs, blinding speeds, and rigorous training. Only the most elite of athletes can be considered with the best in the cycling world. Lance Armstrong was such an elite athlete. In his middle twenties, he amazed everyone when he climbed to the top of the world rankings so quickly.

    But the summer of 1996 was supposed to be the summer of his greatest triumphs. The Tour de France and the Atlanta Olympics were to be his shining moment. But they weren’t. For some unknown reason, he had lost his stamina and drive. Those who knew him well knew it wasn’t a loss of heart or poor conditioning. There was something very wrong. During the fall of ‘96, he has undergone two surgeries to find and remove what everyone had feared: this young athletic superstar has cancer.

    Cancer! Cancer? Yes, it does strike the best, the brightest and the most fit, even in their twenties. Lance Armstrong’s biggest fight is our reminder and wake up call. All any of us gets is one lifetime. None of us knows how short or long that lifetime will be. There are no guarantees. Being fit can’t insure longevity, much less eternity. We are reminded that the issue for all of us can be boiled down to two very important realities:

  • living is not measure by the number of years in a life but the amount of life in the years
  • living is determined by our commitment to seize each day God gives us to live rather than sleepwalking through weeks and months without recognition of our blessings

    Let me ask you to do two things each day this week:

  1. Each morning as you awaken, recite what the Psalmist said long ago: “This is the day the Lord has made—I will rejoice in it!”
  2. and then add: “O Father of grace, help me to seize the life you have placed in each person and each moment of this new day.”

    As you go to bed each evening, remember to thank God for the blessings you have received this day and ask our Father to pour his blessings on a young champion cyclist fighting for his life in Austin—ask Him to grace Lance Armstrong with healing.


HEARTLIGHT® Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
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