We’re a mixed up bunch

  • Sumo

In Albury-Wodonga, the weekly free newspapers used to include a column of reflections. They were written by local  ministers, or similar (authors included a local Baha’i leader, as well as someone from the local humanist society branch). I don’t know why they stopped. Equally, I don’t know if they achieved anything!

Cleaning up my computer, I found a few of mine. In the interests of recycling, I will re-release them on this blog.

July does the same thing every year. The weather makes it less appealing to ride my bike. The TV makes it more inviting to watch others ride their bikes. Yes – I’m addicted to the Tour de France.

Each year I again fall for the helicopter shots of tourist sites, for the speed of fast flat racing, for the pain of riding up ridiculously long mountain roads. There’s a lot to see: fanatical fans; beautiful country; selfless teamwork; athleticism.

This year there was even the chance of an Australian winner. I hope I’m not crazy, but I tried to support Cadel Evans by riding my bike down Cadell St in Albury a few times.

Yet cycling has a problem. Drugs. Again in 2007 there were accusations of cheating and lying. Some cyclists were caught, some teams were kicked out.

There’s no excuse for cheating, but I am not surprised that people try.

These ups and downs are simply an expression of what people are like. We’re a mixed-up bunch, both wonderful and awful at the same time. I started with the Tour de France, so here’s a famous French thinker. Blaise Pascal called people ‘the glory and the shame of the universe.’

If there’s a shadow over cycling it is because there is a shadow over humanity.

Jesus also knew that we’re a mixed-up bunch. Talking about families in Luke’s gospel chapter 11, Jesus pointed out that we don’t give our children scorpions if they ask for food. Yet we are far from perfect. He said that we who are evil know how to give good gifts.

That’s certainly confused. Is there any solution?

It’s no solution to pretend everything is alright. There are drugs in pro sport. And there is failure in our lives.

It’s no solution to give up. Drug testing should continue. And we still admire those able to say sorry.

Jesus’ words point us to the real solution, prayer to God our Father. He’s the one who gives the good gifts of life and forgiveness.
August 2007