From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The peloton (from French, literally meaning ball and related to the English word platoon) or bunch is the large main group in a road bicycle race. Riders in a group save energy by riding close (drafting or slipstreaming) near (particularly behind) other riders. The peloton travels as an integrated unit, like birds flying in formation, each rider making slight adjustments in response to the riders around them (particularly the one in front of each).
The peleton. This group of riders is what kept me riveted to my couch over the weekend, as I nervously watched the chess match between the riders in the group, especially as one rider after the next worked together to tire out Lance Armstrong. As you can read from the definition, the peleton is that large group of riders, that moves seamlessly through the race together. I was told by one of my friends, what an amazing experience it is to be standing on the French roadside as the peleton whips by you almost instantaneously and its power overcomes you as a spectator on the side of the road.
On Saturday, Lance found himself in a little bit of trouble as he and his teammates struggled their first day in the mountains and he found himself all alone in the peleton without any of his Team Discovery teammates.
It is easy to watch the sport of cycling, and to think of it as an individual sport, which is what I did for many years. But the more and more I watch it, the more I realize how important teamwork is. Lance could not have won the previous 6 Tour de France’s alone, and he is not going to be able to win this one alone either.
So as I watch this event, I am amazed at a couple of things. One, I am amazed at the teamwork that takes place in the peleton. The negotiating, the exchaning and sharing of skills, and more…and these are with people you are trying to beat. Two, I am amazed at the selfishness that takes place among the individual teams. Lance’s Team, Team Discovery…their only goal is to get Lance another victory. This team has great riders on it, but their whole goal, is to sacrifice their goals and achievements for the greater good. And in doing that, it requires everyone to use their unique gifts, for the greater good.
In I Corinthians 12, Paul writes on the importance of gifts, and the working together of everyone, for the greater good. In 12:12, Paul says,
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
My close viewing of the Tour de France has reminded me of these important spiritual truths. In our cities there are many ministries, but it is important for us to work together as a team, like the peleton, to accomplish our goals, otherwise, none of us are making it over the mountains. And in our own ministries, it is important that all of us come together, with the unique gifts God has given us, and to be able to sacrifice our goals, our desires, for the greater good of the ministry, and of Christ.
The churches in Los Angeles will only be as successful in bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to the people of LA, if they are working together as a team to accomplish this goal. And our ministry here in the college group at Bel Air, is only as successful as each member and individual, using their gifts, and sacrificing their own goals, for the goals of the group.
I love watching the Tour de France, and it gave me chills to see the peleton push through the mountains together, as team after team, sacrificed and worked to accomplish their goals. And though we get glimpses of it, I hope that we see more and more of that teamwork and passion taking place in our churches.
Thank you to the college ministry team, who sacrificed their time, their lives, their agendas, and used their gifts, to accomplish the greater good of the group this year.